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CQHBIGHT DKPOSfli 



LETTERS FROM MANY PENS 



fHacmtlian's Pocket American anlr l£ngiisf) Classics 

A Series of English Texts, edited for use in Elementary and 
Secondary Schools, with Critical Introductions, Notes, etc. 



i6mo 



Cloth 



25 cents each 



Addison's Sir Roger de Coverley. 

Andersen's Fairy Tales. 

Arabian Nights' Entertainments. 

Arnold's Sohrab and Rustum. 

Austen's Pride and Prejudice. 

Austen's Sense and Sensibility. 

Bacon's Essays. 

Baker's Out of the Northland. 

Bible (Memorable Passages). 

Blackmore's Lorna Doone. 

Boswell's Life of Johnson. Abridged. 

Browning's Shorter Poems. 

Mrs. Browning's Poems (Selected). 

Bryant's Thanatopsis, etc. 

Bulwer-Lytton's Last Days of Pompeii. 

Bunyan's The Pilgrim's Progress. 

Burke's Speech on Conciliation. 

Burns' Poems (Selections). 

B)Ton's Childe Harold's Pilgrimage. 

Byron's Shorter Poems. 

Carlyle's Essay on Burns. 

Carlyle's Heroes and Hero Worship. 

Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonder- 
land. 

Chaucer's Prologue and Knight's Tale. 

Church's The Story of the Iliad. 

Church's The Story of the Odyssey. 

Coleridge's The Ancient Mariner. 

Cooper's The Deerslayer. 

Cooper's The Last of the Mohicans. 

Cooper's The Spy. 

Dana's Two Years Before the Mast. 

Defoe's Robinson Crusoe. Part I. 

Defoe's Robinson Crusoe. Abridged. 

De Quincey's Confessions of an English 
Opium- Eater. 

De Quincey's Joan of Arc, and The Eng- 
lish Mail-Coach. 

Dickens' A Christmas Carol, and The 
Cricket on the Hearth. 

Dickens' A Tale of Two Cities. 

Dickens' David Copperfield. (Two vols.) 

Dryden's Palamon and Arcite. 

Early American Orations, 1760-1824. 

Edwards' Sermons. 

Eliot's Mill on the Floss. 

Eliot's Silas Marner. 

Emerson's Essays. 



Emerson's Early Poems. 

Emerson's Representative Men. 

English Narrative Poems. 

Epoch-making Papers in U. S. History. 

Franklin's Autobiography. 

Mrs. Gaskell's Cranford. 

Goldsmith's The Deserted Village, and 
Other Poems. 

Goldsmith's The Vicar 01 Wakefield. 

Gray's Elegy, etc., and Cowper's John 
Gilpin, etc. 

Grimm's Fairy Tales. 

Hale's The Man Without a Country. 

Hawthorne's Grandfather's Chair. 

Hawthorne's Mosses from an Old Manse. 

Hawthorne's Tangiewood Tales. 

Hawthorne's The House of the Seven 
Gables. 

Hawthorne's Twice-told Tales (Selec- 
tions). 

Hawthorne's Wonder-Book. 

Holmes' Poems. 

Holmes' Autocrat of the Breakfast Table.. 

Homer's Iliad (Translated). 

Homer's Odyssey (Translated). 

Hughes' Tom Brown's School Days. 

Hugo's Les Miserables. Abridged. 

Huxley's Selected Essays and Addresses. 

Irving's Life of Goldsmith. 

living's Knickerbocker's History. 

Irving's Sketch Book. 

Irving's The Alhambra. 

Irving's Tales of a Traveller. 

Keary's Heroes of Asgard. 

a Kempis : The Imitation of Christ 

Kingsley's The Heroes. 

Lamb's The Essays of Elia. 

Lamb's Tales from Shakespeare. 

Letters from Many Pens. 

Lincoln's Addresses, Inaugurals, and 
Letters. 

Lockhart's Life of Scott. Abridged. 

Longfellow's Evangeline. 

Longfellow's Hiawatha. 

Longfellow's Miles Standish. 

Longfellow's Miles Standish and Minor 
Poems. 

Longfellow's Tales of a Wayside Inn. 



fHacmiiian's docket American anU lEnglisij Classics 

A Series of English Texts, edited for use in Elementary and 
Secondary Schools, with Critical Introductions, Notes, etc. 



i6mo 



Cloth 



25 cents each 



Lowell's The Vision of Sir Launfal. 

Lowell's Earlier Essays. 

Macauiay's Essay on Addison. 

Macauiay's Essay on Hastings. 

Macauiay's Essay on Lord Clive. 

Macauiay's Essay on Milton. 

Macauiay's Lays of Ancient Rome. 

Macauiay's Life of Samuel Johnson. 

Malory's Le Morte d'Arthur. 

Milton's Minor Poems. 

Milton's Paradise Lost, Books I and II. 

Old English Ballads. 

Old Testament Selections. 

Palgrave's Golden Treasury. 

Parkman's Oregon Trail. 

Plutarch's Lives of Caesar, Brutus, and 

Mark Antony. 
Poe's Poems. 

Poe's Prose Tales (Selections). 
Poems, Narrative and Lyrical. 
Pope's Homer's Iliad. 
Pope's Homer's Odyssey. 
Pope's The Rape of the Lock. 
Representative Short Stories. 
Rossetti's (Christina) Selected Poems. 
Ruskin's Sesame and Lilies. 
Ruskin's The Crown of Wild Olive and 

Queen of the Air. 
Scott's Ivanhoe. 
Scott's Kenilworth. 
Scott's Lady of the Lake. 
Scott's Lay of the Last Minstrel. 
Scott's Marmion. 
Scott's Quentin Durward. 
Scott's The Talisman. 
Select Orations. 
Selected Poems, for Required Reading 

in Secondary Schools. 
Selections from American Poetry. 
Selections for Oral Reading. 
Shakespeare's As You Like It. 
Shakespeare's Hamlet. 



Shakespeare's Henry V. 
Shakespeare's Julius Caesar. 
Shakespeare's King Lear. 
Shakespeare's Macbeth. 
Shakespeare's Merchant of Venice. 
Shakespeare's Midsummer Night's 

Dream. 
Shakespeare's Richard II. 
Shakespeare's Richard III. 
Shakespeare's The Tempest. 
Shakespeare's Twelfth Night. 
Shelley and Keats : Poems. 
Sheridan's The Rivals and The School 

for Scandal. 
Short Stories. 

Short Stories and Selections. 
Southern Orators : Selections. 
Southern Poets : Selections. 
Southey's Life of Nelson. 
Spenser's Faerie Queene, Book I. 
Stevenson's Kidnapped. 
Stevenson's The Master of Ballantrae. 
Stevenson's Travels with a Donkey, and 

An Inland Voyage. 
Stevenson's Treasure Island. 
Swift's Gulliver's Travels. 
Tennyson's Idylls of the King. 
Tennyson's In Memoriam. 
Tennyson's The Princess. 
Tennyson's Shorter Poems. 
Thackeray's English Humorists. 
Thackeray's Henry Esmond. 
Thoreau's Walden. 

Trevelyan's Life of Macaulay. Abridged. 
Virgil's ^Eneid. 
Washington's Farewell Address, and 

Webster's First Bunker Hill Oration. 
Whittier's Snow-Bound and Other Early 

Poems, 
Woolman's Journal. 
Wordsworth's Shorter Poems. 



THE MACMILLAN COMPANY 

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MACMILLAN & CO., Limited 

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REDUCED FACSIMILE OF LINCOLN'S LETTER 
TO MRS. BIXBY 



LETTERS FROM MANY PENS 



A COLLECTION OF LETTERS 



CHOSEN AND EDITED WITH INTRODUCTION 
AND NOTES 



MARGAKET COULT 

HEAD OF ENGLISH DEPARTMENT IN THE BARRINGER 
HIGH SCHOOL, NEWARK, NEW JERSEY 



THE MACMILLAN COMPANY 
1917 

All rights reserved 






6 



COPTBIGHT, 1917, 

By THE MACMILLAN COMPANY. 



Set up and electrotyped. Published March, 1917. 



MAR -8 1917 



NcrfocotJ ipress 
J. S. dishing- Co. — Berwick &'Smith Co. 

Norwood, Mass.. U.S.A. 



© 5854 



^ 



CONTENTS 



INTRODUCTION : 

Some Prefatory Words to the Reader 
Biographical Notes 
Mechanical Form of a Letter 
Acknowledgments .... 



PAGE 

xvii 

xxix 

li 

lv 



LETTERS : 



I 



THE DAILY COURSE OF LIFE. — CHAT ABOUT HOME 

MATTERS 

(1) Hawthorne to His Sister 

Life at Brook Farm. 

(2) Louisa Alcott to Her Sister Nan 

Early struggles in Boston. 

(3) Mrs. Browning to Miss Mitford 

Life at Casa Guidi. 

(4) Mrs. Carlyle to Mrs. Aitkin 

Life at 5 Cheyne Row, Chelsea. 

(5) Carlyle to His Mother 

Life at 5 Cheyne Row, Chelsea. Book 

(6) Matthew Arnold to His Mother 

Lucy and the cat. 

(7) Lamb to William and Dorothy Wordsworth 

Mary and tobacco. 

(8) Lamb to Robert Lloyd 

Celibacy versus marriage. 
V 




8 



13 



17 



19 



22 



VI 



CONTENTS 



(9) Carlyle's Father and Mother to Him 

Affectionate letters from unpracticed hands. 

(10) Gray to Walpole 

Life in Buckinghamshire. 

(11) Washington Irving to Mrs. Kennedy . 

Life at Sunny side. 

(12) Rossetti to His Mother 

Life at Kelmscot — "Dizzy" in disgrace. 

(13) Thomas Hughes to Alexander Macmillan 

Between old fellows. 



PAGE 

24 
25 

27 
30 
32 



II 
YOUNG PEOPLE TO THEIR ELDERS 

(14) Louisa Alcott to Her Father . . 35 

Birthday of father and daughter. 

(15) Longfellow to His Father 37 

Ambitions at seventeen. 

(16) Helen Keller to John Greenleaf Whittier . . 38 

Love of his poems. 

(17) Helen Keller to Phillips Brooks ... 40 

Very serious thoughts. 

(18) Rossetti to Aunt Charlotte ..... 42 

Youthful poet to sympathetic aunt. 

(19) Young Carlyle to His Mother .... 43 

With a little gift and much appreciation. 

(20) Young Carlyle to His Mother ... 45 

With a bonnet of his selection ! 



Ill 



GROWN PEOPLE TO CHILDREN 



(21) Phillips Brooks to Gertie 
About Berlin. 



48 



CONTENTS 



Vll 



(22) Phillips Brooks to Agnes 

About Wittenberg. 

(23) Phillips Brooks to Gertie 

About Christmas presents. 

(24) Phillips Brooks to Gertie 

From India, about nose-rings, etc. 

(25) Phillips Brooks to Tood 

From London. 

(26) Tennyson to His Son, Hallam 

Be a good boy. 

(27) Carlyle to His Little Niece, Jane 

Not the least of his friends at Mainhill 

(28) Lewis Carroll to Gertrude 

On the drinking of healths. 

(29) Lewis Carroll to Gertrude 

The complaining postman. 

(30) Lewis Carroll to Ada 

Apropos of a name. 



PAGE 

. 49 

. 51 

. 53 

. 56 

. 57 

. 58 

. 59 

. CO 

. G2 



IV 

TO STRANGERS 

(31) Mrs. Stowe to Mrs. Follen . 

Who she is, how she lives, how she writes. 

(32) George Meredith to Tennyson . 

Thanking him for "generous appreciation." 

(33) Huxley to G. S 

To a stranger, who, as an ignoramus, apologizes 
for asking advice. 

(34) Carlyle to W. Lattimer, a Laboring Man . 

Books and reading. 



04 



71 



ri 



Vlll 



CONTENTS 



STIRRING EVENTS 

<35) Mrs. Carlyle to Her Aunt, Mrs. Welsh 
A stagecoach trip. 

(36) Mrs. Carlyle to Her Uncle, Mr. Welsh 

House-cleaning and the tent in the yard. 

(37) Mrs. Carlyle to Her Husband 

A domestic cataclysm. 

(38) Mrs. Carlyle to Her Husband 

Very thrilling. 

(39) Thomas Carlyle to His Brother . 

The burnt manuscript. 

(40) William Prescott to His Wife 

Presentation to Queen Victoria. 

(41) Walpole to Horace Mann 

Lord North's Conciliatory Proposals. 

(42) Walpole to Horace Mann 

Danger from France — Europe seething. 

(43) Walpole to Horace Mann 

Peace with America. 



PAGE 

75 

79 
82 
86 
90 
95 
96 
99 
101 



VI 
SKETCHES FROM MANY LANDS 

(44) Phillips Brooks to His Brother . 

The Rhine. 

(45) Phillips Brooks to His Brother . 

Rome — Florence. 

(46) Mrs. Browning to Miss Mitford 

The Baths of Lucca. 

(47) Lady Duff Gordon to Her Husband . 

Embarking on the Nile. 



103 
108 
111 
116 



CONTENTS 



IX 



(48) Lady Duff Gordon to Mrs. Austin 

The crew — An Egyptian village. 

(49) Lady Duff Gordon to Her Husband . 

Thebes — Arab manners — Nubian women. 

(50) Lady Duff Gordon to Mrs. Austin 

Philae. 

(51) Lady Duff Gordon to Her Husband 

A little black slave. 

(52) Lady Duff Gordon to Her Husband 

An opinion on the English Hareem. 

(53) Huxley to Tyndall .... 

The Nile — Vesuvius. 

(54) Huxley to His Daughter 

Art galleries and mustard. 

(55) Huxley to His Youngest Daughter 

Italian spring weather and trains. 

(56) J. R. Green to Mr. and Mrs. Humphry Ward 

Capri and Spring — Love and the Madonna. 

(57) J. R. Green to Freeman 

Through Italy — Rome. 

(58) J. R. Green to Mrs. a Court 

Rome — the Campagna. 

(59) J. R. Green to Mrs. Humphry Ward 

Great things. 

(60) Thomas Gray to Richard West 

With Mr. Walpole in Paris. 

(61) Gray to His Mother 

With Mr. Walpole in Florence. 

(62) Gray to Mr. Nicholls . 

June in Kent — Mothers. 

(63) Lamb to Manning 

The English Lake Country. 



X 



CONTENTS 



VII 

INVITATIONS — REPLIES — REQUESTS, ETC. 

PAGE 

(64) Elizabeth Barrett to Mr. Kenyon . . .173 

A slip from Wordsworth's garden. 

(65) Rossetti to Aunt Charlotte . . . . .174 

An earnest appeal to kind Aunt C. 

(66) Lamb to Coleridge 177 

To visit Coleridge at Stowey. 

(67) Lamb to Coleridge 178 

Upon returning home. 

(68) Lamb to Manning 180 

To eat oysters. 

(69) Lamb to Wm. Godwin 180 

To say that Mary cannot come. 

(70) Matthew Arnold to Lady de Rothschild . .181 

Accepting an invitation for the boys. 

(71) Huxley to Tyndall 182 

Returning borrowed money. 

(72) Carlyle to G. Remington 183 

The objectionable cock. 

(73) Carlyle to R. Browning 184 

Tea at six or half past. 

(74) Cowper to His Cousin, Lady Hesketh . . .185 

Oh, come to see me ! 



VIII 

"QUIPS AND CRANKS 



(75) Lamb to Manning .... 

Adjuring him not to go to Tartan . 

(76) Lamb to Manning .... 

Praising brawn and a giver of brawn 



187 
189 



CONTENTS 



XI 



(77) Lamb to Manning .... 

Incredibly sober and regular. 

(78) Huxley to His Youngest Daughter 

Barometers and thermometers. 

(79) Huxley to Mr. Kitton . 

The Cat Oliver. 

(80) Huxley to His Daughter 

More about Oliver. 



(81) Huxley to Babs 

The fountain pen. 



PAGE 

191 



192 
193 
194 
195 



IX 
ABOUT PEOPLE AND BOOKS 

(82) Mrs. Carlyle to Helen Welsh 

Tennyson. 

(83) W. W. Story to C. E. Norton 

Mrs. Browning. 

(84) Thackeray to Tennyson 

"The Idylls of the King." 

(85) Tennyson to Thackeray 

Appreciation and friendship. 

(86) Huxley to Tyndall 

Tennyson. 

(87) S. O. Jewett to Mrs. Whitman 

Tennyson. 

(88) Fitzgerald to Tennyson 

The discovery of Omar. 

(89) Fitzgerald to Mrs. Tennyson 

The "paltry poet" — Omar. 

(90) Washington Irving to His Brother 

Enthusiasm for Scott. 



197 
198 
204 
207 
208 
209 
213 
214 
216 



Xll 



CONTENTS 



(91) Washington Irving to His Brother 

Scott and his family. 

(92) Irving to Paulding 

More praise of Scott. 

(93) Walpole to the Countess of Ossort 

Two paragons. 

(94) Walpole to the Misses Berry 

An appreciation. 

(95) Lamb to Dorothy Wordsworth . 

Appreciation of a sister. 

(96) Lowell to Lawrence Godkin 

An appreciation of "The Nation." 

(97) Lowell to Mrs. Godkin 

Every inch a man ! 



PAGE 

219 



221 
225 
229 
230 
233 
234 



X 

DE GUSTIBUS 

(98) Lamb to Wm. Wordsworth . 

Love of London. 

(99) Lamb to Coleridge 

A modification. 

(100) Celia Thaxter to Whittier 

Love of her island. 

(101) John Ruskin to C. ... 

Letters long and short. 

(102) J. R. Green to Mrs. Humphry Ward 

Sunshine — A wife — The Caprese. 

(103) Walpole to Wm. Mason 

Strawberry Hill — English literary taste. 



237 
239 
240 
241 
245 
250 



CONTENTS 



Xlll 



(104) Walpole to the Countess of Ossory . 

Letter-writing. 

(105) Walpole to the Countess of Ossory 

More about letter-writing. 

(106) Lowell to Lawrence Godkin . 

The "ball and chain" of professorship and editor- 
ship. 

(107) Lowell to Lawrence Godkin . 

The joy of a grandson. 



XI 

COUNSEL AND ADVICE 

Chesterfield to His Son, Philip Stanhope 
Letter-writing. 

Chesterfield to His Son 
More about letter- writing. 

Chesterfield to His Son 
Manners at dinner. 

Chesterfield to His Son 
Polish of manners. 



(108) 
(109) 
(110) 
(HI) 
(112) 
(113) 
(114) 

(115) 
(116) 



George Hughes to His Son 
Advice to a Rugby boy. 

Huxley to His Son 

Eighteenth birthday thoughts. 

Theodore Parker to a Chance Acquaintance , 
How to make up for lack of opportunity in educa- 
tion. 

Mrs. Tennyson to Her Son . 

God first. 

Matthew Arnold to Mrs. Forster 

The education of a girl to cultivate perception. 



PAGE 

252 
254 

258 

259 



261 
262 
264 
266 
269 
271 
271 

273 

274 



xiv CONTENTS 

PAGE 

(117) John Ruskin to C. 276 

Advice about drawing. 

(US) Lincoln to John D. Johnston .... 279 
Get to work ! 

XII 

FROM A FULL HEART 

(119) Louisa Alcott to Her Aunt, Mrs. Bond . . 282 

Resignation to inaction. 

(120) Charles Lamb to Coleridoe .... 2S3 

The death of his mother. 

(121) Elizabeth Browning to Mrs. Martin . . 2S4 

Her marriage. 

(122) Rossetti to His Mother 292 

Flowers and love. 

(123) Matthew Arnold to His Sister, Mrs. Forster 293 

The death of his son. 



(124) Matthew Arnold to His Mother 

The settlement of his thought. 

(125) Brooke Lambert to Alexander Macmillan 

Thanks for last kindness to J. R. Green. 

(126) Mrs. Piozzi to Dr. Johnson . 

About her marriage. 

(127) Dr. Johnson to Mrs. Piozzi 

His reply. 

(12S) Dr. Johnson to Lord Chesterfield 
The true meaning of "patron." 

(129) Thomas Carlyle to His Mother . 

Ou the death of his father. 

(130) Lincoln to Mrs. Bixby 

The thanks of the Republic. 



294 
295 
297 

298 
299 
301 
307 



CONTENTS XV 

XIII 
OTHER TIMES: OTHER MANNERS 

PAGE 

A Greek letter (fictitious). 

(131) Aspasia to Cleone ....... 309 

As Landor fancied that she might have described 
the playing of "Prometheus." 

Roman letters. 

(132) Pliny to Hispulla 311 

Praising his wife Calpurnia. 

(133) Pliny to Cornelius Tacitus . . . .312 

The eruption of Vesuvius. 

(134) Pliny to Fuscus 317 

Life at his villa at Tuscum. 

(135) Cicero to Calls Cassius 320 

Sympathy with him and Marcus Brutus. 

A mediaeval letter (translated from the Latin). 

(136) Stephen of Blois to His Wife, Adele . . . 322 

Battles of the Cross — Care for his home. 

A fifteenth-century letter. 

(137) Margaret Paston to John Paston . . . 324 

Concern for her husband, sick at London. 

Seventeenth-century letters (spelling modernized). 

(138) Margaret Winthrop to Her Husband . . . 320 

From sad Boston, but looking upward. 

(139) Dorothy Osborne to Sir William Temple . 327 

Cromwell's great affairs. 

(140) Dorothy Osborne to Sir William Temple . 329 

Life in an English country house. 

Eighteenth-century letters. 

(141) Richard Steele to Prue, His Wife . . , 332 

To take a ride. 



XVI CONTENTS 

PAGE 

(142) Richard Steele to "Madam" .... 332 

Reproaches. 

(143) Richard Steele to Prue . 333 

Hardly a compliment. 

(144) Richard Steele to Dear Prue .... 333 

Very affectionate. 

NOTES 335 



INTRODUCTION 

SOME PREFATORY WORDS TO THE READER 

The average person is called upon, in the course of 
his life, to write letters more frequently than to execute 
any other sort of literary composition. Very few 
write books; not many write articles for magazines 
and newspapers; every one, comparatively speaking, 
writes letters. And upon the character of these letters 
many important interests in life may depend. Clear- 
ness, good sense, and courtesy, or the lack of these 
qualities, in a business letter may have an important 
bearing upon the material concerns of life ; the faculty 
by your pen to convey to a friend your impressions of 
novel scenes, of the interesting aspects of life around 
you ; to beguile the langour of a distant sick room with 
lively narrative or amusing small-talk, conveyed thither 
by the post, — in a word, to make the friend who is 
separated from you feel your presence as if you were 
near — all this certainly adds to the pleasantness of 
life. The skill to communicate thus by letter is an 
art worth gaining. While knowledge of the principles 

xvii 



X vill I NT ROD UCTION 

of rhetoric and ability in general essay-writing will 
minister to success in letter-writing, the letter is a 
rather distinct literary form, with virtues of its own. 
I have known pupils of more than ordinary skill in 
formal composition to express themselves most un- 
fortunately when attempting to w r rite a familiar letter. 
Frequently young writers are discourteous, not from 
any lack of good-will, but because they are unfamiliar 
with the fashion of letter-writing. Obviously, the best 
way to remove this hindrance is to read good letters. 
To bring before those that wish to gain skill and ease 
in letter-writing a collection of helpful letters is the first 
aim of this little book. 

The letters herein contained are divided, rather 
roughly, into groups. No attempt has been made at 
an exact classification. Letters appearing in one sec- 
tion may contain matter that might list them under 
another head. The prevailing character has decided 
the grouping. The groups present the common themes 
of correspondence. Naturally, theme modifies style. 
Let us, for a moment, consider the groups into which 
these letters fall. 

The first section is made up of letters, written by 
people of a good many different sorts, telling about what 
they are doing from day to day. They know that w T hat 
interests them will interest the friends to whom they 
write, and so they talk, simply and unaffectedly, about 
home matters. Simply and unaffectedly — those words 



INTRODUCTION xix 

mean much. Carlyle says that the bane of literature 

is affectation, — assuming an interest in what does not 
really interest you, — certainly it is the bane of letter- 
writing. Lord Chesterfield wrote to the son of whose 
education he took so much care, "To write well, we 
must write easily and naturally. For instance, if you 
want to write a letter to me, you should only consider 
what you would say if you were with me, and then write 
it in plain terms" ; and again, "most persons who write 
ill, do so because they aim at writing better than they 
can, by which means they acquire a formal and un- 
natural style." In a letter to Miss Susie Thrale, Dr. 
Johnson advises the little lady not to search labori- 
ously for material in writing to him, but to write, for 
instance, about the book that she has been reading, 
or about the people that have lately visited their home. 
Now, if the advice about simplicity of style ever applies, 
it applies certainly to chat about home matters. An 
easy style, however, does not mean slang, and it does 
not mean incorrect English. It does mean idiomatic 
English, the sort that one would speak, talking freely. 
The second group is of letters of young people to 
friends much older than they. This is a sort of letter 
often somewhat difficult to write. The respect felt by 
the young writer for his correspondent often stiffens 
his style; but perfect confidence in the goodness of 
heart of the older friend "casts out fear." Helen 
Keller's peculiar position (see biographical note) took 



XX INTRODUCTION 

away entirely the troubling self-consciousness that is 
so great a bar to genuine simplicity. Her letters to the 
two great men that were so far beyond her in age and 
experience are absolutely trustful. 

The letters of grown people to children, if they are 
right, are particularly charming. It takes great grace 
for the grown man or woman to meet the mind of a 
child, and nothing less than this completeness of sym- 
pathy is a true letter to a child. In reading the letters 
of Phillips Brooks and of "Lewis Carroll" to children, 
no one can question that they were at one with their 
correspondents. How delightfully companionable they 
must have been to children ! how excitingly unexpected ! 
how stimulating ! 

If it requires sympathetic understanding to write 
well to a child, it requires faith in human nature to 
write well to a stranger. You must believe in your 
correspondent, and take for granted the friendliness 
that is the habitual attitude of mind of really fine people. 
Even though you may, in your supposition, have over- 
estimated the person whom you do not know, you have 
done him a compliment and have kept your own poise 
correctly. Note the genuine simplicity of heart of 
Mrs. Stowe's letter to Mrs. Follen ; it is a fine lesson. 
Note, too, the true brotherly kindness of the letters 
of Huxley and of Carlyle, the respect, mingled with 
quiet dignity, of George Meredith's letter to Tennyson, 
— significant revelations of the character of the writers. 



INTRODUCTION XXI 

Often, in our letters, we wish to tell " how it all hap- 
pened/ ' The little thread of story many a time is a 
slight one ; but of such threads is made up the texture 
of most of our days ; and it is the life of our days that 
we want to catch in our letters. No one is better at 
this narration than Mrs. Carlyle. She said herself 
that she had a "talent for the narration of stirring 
events," laughing at the way in which she made a 
thrilling story of the taking down or the putting up of 
her "red bed," or meeting or missing a friend at an 
appointed place. Whatever she tells has a "go" to it. 
A talent for such narrative is worth acquiring. 

As surely as you will want in your letters to tell how 
things happened, you will want, on occasions, to tell how 
things look ; that is, to sketch in words your surround- 
ings. The letters in section six are from many lands, 
but whether you write of what you are seeing in Egypt 
or in Italy or from your back door, if you can make 
people see what you see, and feel what you feel at the 
seeing, you will please. Let us stop a moment over 
that second condition, if you can make people "feel 
what you feel at the seeing." If the thing that you are 
attempting to describe has not made you feel, give over 
the attempt at description. Letters of travel can be 
deadly dull. It is the personal touch that gives them 
their life. If Lady Duff Gordon can take you in her 
Nile-boat with her up the wonderful river, and make 
you see the strange life of Arab and Turk and Copt, 



XX11 IN TROD UCTION 

and arouse in you the quick sympathies that touched 
her heart, then she has written genuine letters of 
travel. 

In section seven, we turn from our wanderings to a 
set of letters that seem to me valuable examples. They 
are the little notes of invitation, reply, request, and the 
like that we all wish to write gracefully, but are not 
always able to make graceful. In fact, such notes are 
often unwittingly discourteous. For instance, a pupil 
ended a note of request, written to the principal of his 
school, thus : "I hope that you will give this matter 
immediate attention/' If the young man had caught 
his style of letter-writing from something more reliable 
than bad types of business letters, he would probably 
have been less peremptory. 

Sections eight, nine, and ten offer some interesting 
kinds of letters. Section eight shows how the pen of 
the letter-writer may caper. Minds "with a diverting 
twist," to use Lamb's phrase, express themselves thus. 
We can read and enjoy, but probably we cannot do 
likewise. Dr. Johnson told Susie Thrale to write about 
the books that she was reading. Expressions of opinion 
upon books and people should be based upon careful 
thinking, clearly and tolerantly expressed. We may 
well read with care the estimates of men and women 
and of literary work given in section nine. And there 
will appear in our letters the filmier stuff of our likings 
and dislikings, sometimes vagrant enough, but belong- 



INTRODUCTION XX111 

ing to the very texture of our personalities. The letters 
in section ten bring us very close to the writers. 

Under " counsel and advice " we shall find matter for 
thought. Compare the counsel that the worldly- 
minded Lord Chesterfield gives to his son with the few 
earnest words of Huxley to his son or the tender ad- 
monitions of the great poet Tennyson's mother to him. 
As a counsellor for the great issues of life, Lord Chester- 
field is superficial, but his words of kindly advice to 
young Philip Stanhope upon manners, taste, and study 
show his good sense and graceful tact. The ease of 
his style demonstrates that he drew his precepts to his 
son on that score from his own practice. 

The letters in group tw T elve are very different in 
character from Chesterfield's well-bred, lightly touched 
essays upon conduct. These are the earnest words of 
writers whose hearts have been deeply stirred : — the 
outpourings of Elizabeth Browning's heart, shaken by 
a great experience, to her trusted friend; the broken 
words of Charles Lamb — words that bleed — to the 
person to whom he instinctively turned in the dark 
hour that had fallen upon him; the simple, tender 
words of Matthew Arnold upon the death of his son — 
"even so great men great losses should endure"; 
Thomas Carlyle's words of consolation to his mother, 
words touched with an apostolic fervor, now and again 
swept into poetic beauty of style; and Lincoln's ma- 
jestic "thanks of the Republic" to the mother who had 



XXIV INTRODUCTION 

"laid so costly a sacrifice upon the altar of freedom." 
All of these examples show how real feeling ennobles 
speech. 

The last group is interesting as showing some sample 
letters of distant times. They come down to the 
eighteenth-century letter, exemplified in Richard 
Steele's letters to his wife. When we reach Walpole, 
Gray, and Cowper, letter-writing is essentially modern. 
Indeed, when we read the older epistles, while we find 
peculiarities of form, we are struck rather by the kinship 
than by the differences that times and seasons bring. 

Now, as we leave this view of the contents of our little 
volume, here is just a practical word about the reading 
of these letters to improve one's own style of letter- 
writing. Note the ways in which these writers begin 
and end their letters. They do not waste much time 
upon introductory, explanatory, or apologetic matter 
at the beginning. They have something to say, and 
they set about that something at once. Pupils are 
sometimes troubled by curious old rules, of obscure 
origin, but often deeply ingrained in the youthful mind. 
One of these is : Do not begin a letter with 7. Such 
letters as we have in this book make style in letter- 
writing. Are the writers of these letters afraid to begin 
with I, if I most directly begins what they have to say ? 
Beginnings and endings are always significant parts of 
any composition. Note the variety of beginnings in 
these letters, and avoid a monotonous form in your 



INTRODUCTION XXV 

own use. Note, also, the endings. I have read many 
letters ending with a participial expression like, " Trust- 
ing that we shall meet again next summer, I am, etc." 
Examine the closing phrases of the letters in this book 
to see whether this form once occurs. If not, it will 
be safe to avoid it in your own practice. There is a still 
more objectionable close sometimes found in a letter 
making a request. "Thanking you in advance for 
granting the favor that I ask of you, I am etc." It is 
hardly good taste to presuppose that a request will be 
granted. In general, we may say avoid trite, wordy, 
meaningless phrases; so we return to the point at 
which we began : be simple, direct, and natural. 

Passing from the consideration of these letters as 
aids in acquiring a good style, we find that they have a 
second interest. They make us acquainted with men and 
women worth knowing. The importance of intimate 
knowledge of the lives and the characters of the good 
and the great can hardly be overestimated. All who 
have read Ruskin's "Sesame" have, I am sure, been 
impressed by what he says upon this subject. Now, 
nothing brings a person so near to you, next to hearing 
him speak, as reading his letters. Sarah Orne Jewett, 
speaking of one of George Sand's letters, said, " Nothing 
ever made me feel that I knew Madame Sand as that 
letter did." In the "biographical notes" will be found 
short sketches of the persons whose letters appear in 
this volume, with cross references to the letters them- 



XXVI INTRODUCTION 

selves. For this study of personality and character, 
take the letters of each author, arrange them chro- 
nologically, and read them thoughtfully. You will 
find, too, that as in the dramatic monologues of 
Browning you always have in mind not only the 
speaker but the person addressed, so here you will get 
impressions not only of the writer but of the person 
written to. Lamb's letters to Coleridge, for instance, 
are eloquent of Coleridge. If you should happen to 
sit in a railway train just behind two famous persons 
who were carrying on a conversation, would you 
not listen "with ears pricked up"? Well, these 
letters give you much the same opportunity, perhaps 
a better one, for they do not present chance conversa- 
tion. Take the three letters of Louisa Alcott ; the first 
two showing her in her years of gallant struggle in 
Boston, buying with her stories and her plays shoes and 
stockings for the family and carpets for the house, — 
in truth, the "hub of the family wheel" ; then the last 
letter in her " shut-in " days, when she was learning 
"to be still, to give up, and to wait patiently." How 
graphically these three letters present the life of that 
noble woman ! The interest that these letters awaken 
ought to lead readers to the more detailed accounts of 
the lives of the writers and the more complete collections 
of their letters. This dwelling in imagination with the 
good and the* great has an ennobling effect upon life. 
I must speak briefly of another value of these letters, 



INTRODUCTION XXV11 

— their use as material for the study of history and 
manners. Our slim collection can only suggest their 
value along this line. The letters of Walpole concern- 
ing the American War of Independence are illustrative. 
His published letters form eight or nine bulky volumes, 
but a detailed table of contents, arranged chronologi- 
cally, makes it easy to find what one wants. Dorothy 
Osborn's letters should be read in full. They are 
entertaining for the story they tell, and interesting for 
their revelation of life and manners in the time of 
Cromwell. 

Finally, these letters repay study as literature. 
The "Essays of Elia" are not better samples of the 
English of Lamb than are his best letters. For 
arousing thought, sharpening the wits, giving facility 
of phrase and resources of vocabulary no reading could 
be much better than carefully selected letters. Such 
reading comes very near in value to intimate conversa- 
tion with clever people, this last a privilege from which 
many people are shut out. Literary style is modified 
by three forces: the author, the persons addressed, 
and the theme. The more clearly the personality of 
the writer shows in the theme written, the more vividly 
he has in his consciousness the persons addressed, 
the more at one he is with his subject, the better will 
be his style. Perhaps these facts account for the 
superior style of good letters. The writer lets his 
personality show from the very nature of a letter. He 



XXV111 I NT ROD UCTION 

knows the mind that he is addressing, as the writer 
for the public cannot know his audience ; his subject- 
matter is a part of himself. These three forces in 
happy combination produce happy results in style. 
So, in our reading of letters, we read not only to improve 
our own letter-writing, or to gain information concern- 
ing people and things, but also to train and to delight 
our literary taste. 



BIOGRAPHICAL NOTES 

(The lists of numbers of letters are arranged chronologically.) 

Alcott, Louisa May. Born at Germantown, Pennsylvania, 
1832 ; died at Boston, 1888. Louisa Alcott's father, A. Bron- 
son Alcott, was a philosopher, who found it very difficult, by his 
teaching and his lecturing, to support his family. His more 
practical daughter early took the burden upon her own 
shoulders. She taught, she wrote stories and plays. In 
1862 and 1863 she was a hospital nurse in Washington. All 
of her experiences she turned into material for her stories, 
one of her most popular books, " Little Women," being a 
transcript of her own family life. Recognition came to her 
as her career developed, and, with the recognition, money 
that it was her delight to use for the good of those that she 
held so dear. Her last years were saddened by the loss of 
many that she loved, and by physical infirmities that made 
it necessary for her to sit with folded hands when she longed 
to be up and doing. Her courageous spirit, however, burned 
bright to the last. The story of her life should be read in 
full, for its lesson and its inspiration. Letters 14, 2, 119. 

Arnold, Matthew. Born at Laleham, Middlesex, England, 
1822 ; died at Liverpool, 1888. Critic and poet, the son of 
Thomas Arnold, the head master of Rugby, so enthusias- 
tically described in Thomas Hughes's "Tom Brown at Rugby. " 
Matthew Arnold, as inspector of schools, labored earnestly for 
the welfare of the public school system of England, regularly 

xxix 



XXX BIOGRAPHICAL NOTES 

visiting schools, marking papers at the rate of twenty-five a 
day, "Sundays and holidays not excepted," and making an 
exhaustive study of the school systems of the more important 
countries of the continent. All this he did, although his 
natural bent was towards criticism and poetry. "Sohrab 
and Rustum," "The Scholar-Gypsy," and "Thyrsis" are 
some of his best-known poems. His "Essays in Criticism" 
contains significant studies of great writers. His affectionate 
nature and genuine simplicity of heart are shown in his letters. 
Letters 70, 116, 6, 123, 124. 

Aspasia. Born at Miletus, Ionia. This celebrated woman, 
renowned both for her beauty and her genius, is inseparably 
connected with the fame of Pericles, sharing both his counsels 
and his intellectual interests. Aspasia came to Athens in 
her youth. Walter Savage Landor has made her live again 
for us in his "Pericles and Aspasia," composed of letters pur- 
porting to have passed between this man and woman of the 
Golden Age of Athens. Letter 131. 

Brooks, Phillips. Born at Boston, 1835 ; died there, 1893. 
A bishop of the Episcopalian Church, and for many years the 
much loved rector of Trinity Church, Boston. He was a man 
of deep spirituality and of great power as a preacher. As a 
writer he is remarkably direct and unaffected. His winning 
personality and love of fun are evident to any one who reads 
his letters. Letters 44, 45, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25. 

Browning, Mrs. (Elizabeth Barrett). Born at Durham, 
England, 1806; died at Florence, Italy, 1861. Elizabeth 
Barrett was a confirmed invalid during the greater part of 
her youth and early womanhood. Her marriage with Robert 
Browning was a secret one, on account of the stubborn deter- 



BIOGRAPHICAL NOTES XXXI 

urination of her tyrannical father that none of his children 
should marry. Mrs. Browning tells the romantic story of 
her marriage in her letter to her friend, Mrs. Martin, p. 121. 
The greater part of Mrs. Browning's beautiful married 
life was spent in Florence. There her one child, Oscar, — 
Pennini, his mother called him, — was born. There Mrs. 
Browning entered, heart and soul, into the Italian struggle 
for independence. The Browning home, Casa Guidi, is made 
famous by Mrs. Browning's poem, "Casa Guidi Windows," 
in which the poet follows the fortunes of the Italian cause. 
Mrs. Browning is buried in the Protestant Cemetery at 
Florence. See W. W. Story's letter to C. E. Norton, 
p. 198. Letters 64, 121, 3, 46^ 

Carlyle, James. The father of Thomas Carlyle. James 
Carlyle was first a stone-mason, later a small farmer. Of his 
education, his son says, "I believe he was never more than 
three months in any school." He was, nevertheless, a man of 
much intelligence, of vigorous and pithy speech. "I call my 
father," Thomas Carlyle says again, "a brave man. Man's 
face he did not fear; God he always feared. . . . Religion 
was the pole-star for my father. Rude and uncultivated as 
he otherwise was, it made him and kept him 'in all points a 
man." James Carlyle married, as his second wife, Margaret 
Aitken. Of her, her famous son says, " She was a faithful 
helpmate to him (her husband), toiling unweariedly at his 
side; to us the best of all mothers; to whom, for body and 
soul, I owe endless gratitude." Letter 9. 

Carlyle, Mrs. (Jane Welsh). Born at Haddington, England, 
1801 ; died at London, 1866. Mrs. Carlyle was a woman of 
great wit, clever both with tongue and pen. The charm of her 
conversation seems to have drawn people to 5 Cheyne Row, 



XXX11 BIOGRAPHICAL NOTES 

Chelsea, with as strong an attraction as the fame of her great 
husband. How bright her conversation was we may gather 
from her letters. Letters 4, 35, 82, 36, 37, 38. 

Carlyle, Thomas. Born at Ecclefechan, Scotland, 1795; 
died at Chelsea, London, 1881. Carlyle's father was a stone- 
mason. The humble character of the early home of the great 
writer may be gathered from the letters of his father and 
mother to him (p. 9), and from Carlyle's early letters to his 
mother (pp. 19, 20), written shortly after he left Edinburgh 
University, during a period of struggle, before his marriage 
with Jane Welsh. Thomas Carlyle and his wife spent some of 
the first years of their married life on a barren little farm 
belonging to Mrs. Carlyle, called Craigenputtock. Here 
Emerson visited them. In 1834, they established their 
modest home at 5 Cheyne Row, Chelsea, a section of London. 
Carlyle' s fame as a WTiter was assured by the publication of 
his "French Revolution,"- the accidental burning of a part of 
which, in the manuscript, is the subject of Carlyle's letter to 
his brother, p. 90. Many of Carlyle's letters have been 
published, his long correspondence with our Emerson, his 
letters to his home people, particularly his mother and his 
wife, besides letters to his famous contemporaries, among 
whom were several close friends. Letters 19, 27 20, 129, 5, 
39, 73, 72, 34. 

"Carroll, Lewis " (Charles LutwidgeDodgson). Born in 
1832 ; died, 1898. An English clergyman, mathematician, and 
writer. A treatise upon Plane and Algebraical Geometry and 
"Alice in Wonderland" seem contradictory productions of 
one and the same mind; but Charles Dodgson, the mathe- 
matical lecturer at Christ Church, Oxford, was also "Lewis 
Carroll," the devoted friend of Adelaide, Gertrude, and the 



BIOGRAPHICAL NOTES XXX111 

rest. The pseudonym is better known than the rightful 
name, and "The Hunting of the Snark" and the "Adventures" 
than the books on Euclid and the sermons. Lewis Carroll 
must have been a friend to delight any child's heart. Letters 
28, 29, 30. 

Cicero, Marcus Tullius. Born 106 B.C. ; assassinated, 
43 B.C. Orator, statesman, and philosopher. Cicero was 
devoted to the old Roman republican ideals ; but was unable 
to make himself permanently effective in the troublous times 
in which his lot was cast. His kindly and tolerant temper 
led him to compromise and to seek the politic rather than 
the heroic course. He attained his clearest success when he 
checked the conspiracy of Catiline against the state, and was 
acclaimed "Father of his Country" (63 B.C.). In the gather- 
ing contest between Caesar, the head of the popular party, 
and Pompey, the head of the senatorial party, Cicero attached 
himself to Pompey, as conservative of the older order of 
things; but neither Pompey nor Caesar gave Cicero any 
cordial support. When Pompey fell, and Caesar had estab- 
lished his power in Rome, the clemency that the new ruler 
showed won Cicero, so that he declared warmly for him. 
Cicero was not concerned in the assassination of Caesar ; but, 
when the deed was done, his political principles naturally in- 
clined him to the cause of Brutus and Cassius, with whom he 
joined heartily (see his letter on p. 320), pronouncing a series 
of orations, to which he gave the name of Philippics, against 
Antony. Young Octavius put himself apparently under 
the direction of Cicero. The coalition of Antony, Octavius, 
and Lepidus, as the Second Triumvirate, was the undoing 
of Cicero. When the bloody proscriptions were drawn up, 
upon the arrival of the triumvirs in Rome, Antony demanded 
the head of Cicero, and Octavius gave him up. Cicero lied 



XXXIV BIOGRAPHICAL NOTES 

from Rome, and some weeks later was slain by a hired assassin. 
Octavius, when he was the Emperor Augustus, said of the 
man whom he had betrayed, "He was a good citizen, who 
really loved his country." Lord Chesterfield, writing to his son 
(p. 261), calls Cicero's letters, of which many have been pre- 
served, ' ' the most perfect models of good writing." Letter 135. 

Cow per, William. Born at Great Berkhamstead, Hertford, 
1731 ; died at East Dereham, Norfolk, 1S00. Cowper's life 
was overshadowed by melancholia, passing at times into fits 
of temporary insanity. Throughout his life he deeply re- 
gretted the loss of his mother, who died when he was a mere 
child, as his poem, "Lines on the Receipt of My Mother's 
Picture," tells us. He derived his greatest pleasure from 
country life, from his garden, his flowers, his poetry, and, above 
all, from the society of a good and kind woman, Mrs. Unwin, 
the wife of the Reverend Morley Unwin, of whose family 
Cowper was long a member. Cowper's mind was in its 
healthiest state when he was busy at his poetry ; he trans- 
lated the "Iliad" and the "Odyssey" into blank verse, and 
wrote a long poem, "The Task," besides many short poems. 
It is pleasant to think of him as the author of the rollicking 
ballad, "John Gilpin." Cowper was a copious letter- writer. 
Much of his correspondence has been preserved. None of 
his letters are more charming than those to his favorite cousin, 
Lady Hesketh. Letter 74. 

Fitzgerald, Edward. Born near Woodbridge, Suffolk, 1809; 
died at Merton, Norfolk, 1883. A scholarly man, of rather 
peculiar temperament, devoted to literature, and to a few 
choice friends. His letters to the various members of the 
Tennyson family show the warmth of his friendship. He 
defends with generous zeal the fame of Alfred Tennyson, 



BIOGRAPHICAL NOTES XXXV 

against all competitors, holding lightly his own claims to 
poetic honors as the translator of Omar Khayyam, although his 
"Rubaiyat" is so free a rendering of the old Persian poet that 
it is more an original poem than a translation. Fitzgerald's 
letter telling of the "discovery" of Omar is interesting. 
Letters 88, 89. 

Gordon, Lady Duff. Born at Westminster, 1821 ; died at 
Cairo, Egypt, 1869. A woman of remarkable energy and 
force of character, a fine example of the best type of high- 
bred Englishwoman. Lady Duff Gordon was a writer of 
some prominence, chiefly a translator. A weakness of the 
lungs compelled her to spend most of her time out of England. 
Her daughter, Janet, married a gentleman whose business 
took him to Alexandria, Egypt. Lady Gordon determined to 
try the climate of Egypt. Her residence in Egypt no doubt 
prolonged her life, but failed to check her disease. She 
could make only short visits to her family in England. The 
letters that she wrote to her husband and her mother give 
vivid accounts of her experiences in Egypt. She grew very 
fond of the Arabs, championed their cause with the English 
government, and did them signal service. She died in Egypt, 
no member of her family with her at the last. Letters 47, 
48, 49, 50, 51, 52. 

Gray, Thomas. Born at London, 1716 ; died at Cambridge, 
1771. A scholar, poet, and famous letter- writer. He early 
formed a close friendship with the brilliant Horace Walpole, 
with whom he made a tour through the principal countries of 
Europe. By some chance, the tw r o young men were estranged. 
On his return to England, Gray settled at Cambridge, where 
he became professor of modern history. At Cambridge, he 
lived in scholarly retirement, spending a part of each summer 



XXXVI BIOGRAPHICAL NOTES 

with his mother at Stoke-Pogis, a little country place near to 
Windsor. It was the churchyard of the Stoke-Pogis church 
that inspired his "Elegy in a Country Churchyard/' In that 
churchyard he was buried. Letters 10, 60, 61, 62. 

Green, John Richard. Born at Oxford, 1837; died at 
Mentone, in the southern part of France, 1883. An historian, 
best known, perhaps, as the author of "A Short History of 
the English People." Infirm health compelled him to spend 
much of his time in a kindlier climate than that of England. 
His letters tell of his delight in the island of Capri, just off the 
bay of Naples. He married late in life, 1877, living but a short 
time after his marriage. His letters reveal a delightful per- 
sonality. Letters 102, 56, 57, 58, 59. 

Hawthorne, Nathaniel. Born at Salem, Massachusetts, 
1804 ; died at Plymouth, New Hampshire, 1864. Hawthorne 
joined the Brook Farm Association when he was about thirty- 
seven years old. This famous socialistic colony, established 
on a farm near West Roxbury, Massachusetts, drew together 
many interesting people. George Ripley, Hawthorne, and 
Charles Dana were inmates. Emerson made occasional 
visits. The life of the colony is amusingly described by 
Hawthorne in the letter to his sister given on page 1. Later 
Hawthorne turned his Brook Farm experiences into a story, 
"Blithedale Romance." Letter 1. 

Hughes, George. Brother of Thomas Hughes. Like his 
brother, he was devoted to Rugby. Letter 112. 

Hughes, Thomas. Born in Berkshire, England, 1823; 
died, 1896. He was educated at Rugby under Thomas 
Arnold, the father of Matthew Arnold, and later at Oxford ; 
but it was Rugby school that made the greatest impression 



BIOGRAPHICAL NOTES XXXvii 

upon Thomas Hughes. Later he became associated with 
Charles Kingsley and F. D. Maurice in the movement for the 
improvement of the condition of the poor, known as "Christian 
Socialism." He lectured in the United States in 1870, and 
in 1880 founded the "Rugby Colony" in Tennessee. "Tom 
Brown at Rugby" is his best-known book. Letter 13. 

Huxley, Thomas Henry. Born at Ealing, near London, 
1825; died at Eastbourne, 1895. A biologist, one of the 
foremost scientists of his day. His letters are charming — 
easy, enthusiastic, often whimsical. Those to the various 
members of Ins family endear him to the reader. They show 
us that the great scientist wore his " weight of learning lightly 
as a flower." Letters 53, 113, 78, 54, 55, 81, 86, 80, 79, 33. 

Irving, Washington. Born at New York, 1783; died at 
Sunnyside, Tarrytown, 1859. When Irving, a young man 
with his literary reputation still to make, was traveling in 
England and Scotland, Walter Scott received him with great 
kindness, giving him much practical assistance in regard to 
the publication of his "Sketch Book." After his long resi- 
dence abroad, Irving returned to America, full of honors, 
spending his last years at his country home, "Sunnyside," 
near Tarrytown, on the Hudson. Letters 90, 91, 92, 11. 

Jewett, Sarah Orne. Born at South Berwick, Maine, 1849 ; 
died, 1909. As the daughter of a well-known country physi- 
cian she had much opportunity to observe types of character, 
and she was early stimulated to express what she observed. 
When she was but twenty years old, a story of hers was 
accepted by The Atlantic Monthly. From that time on, 
Miss Jewett wrote many short stories and novels, concerned 
mainly with New England life and character. Many of her 



XXXV111 BIOGRAPHICAL NOTES 

stories are for young people, as the old files of St Nicholas will 
show. The richness of her personality, the warmth and 
meaning of her friendships, the ease and charm of her style, 
are revealed in her letters. Their value deserves fuller 
representation than has been possible in this little book. 
Letter 87. 

Johnson, Samuel. Born at Lichfield, 1709; died at Lon- 
don, 1784. Samuel Johnson's fame was established by the 
publication, in 1755, of his dictionary, the first adequate 
dictionary of the English language. The immense labor in- 
volved in this task Johnson accomplished almost single- 
handed. He had looked to the celebrated Lord Chesterfield 
for patronage, but had, he thought, been coldly neglected. 
Upon the publication of the dictionary, Johnson wrote to 
Chesterfield a letter, which, with great dignity, set forth the 
history of his relations with that nobleman. Though Johnson 
grew in honor as his years went by, he was weighed down, in 
his last days, with many griefs, not the least of them being 
that his old friend and favorite, Mrs. Thrale, three years after 
the death of the esteemed Mr. Thrale, took a second husband, 
Mr. Piozzi, an Italian musician. Dr. Johnson remonstrated 
with the lady ; Mrs. Piozzi defended her course with firmness 
and spirit. The letters that passed between the one-time 
friends are full of interest. Letters 128, 127. 

Keller, Helen. Born at Tuscumbia, in northern Alabama, 
1880. The story of Helen Keller's life is a wonderful revela- 
tion of what can be accomplished in the development of the 
mind and soul, by persistent effort, under the most disad- 
vantageous circumstances. When she was a baby, less than 
two years old, Helen Keller was attacked by a terrible illness, 
winch the doctors called congestion of the stomach and brain. 



BIOGRAPHICAL NOTES XXXIX 

Through this disease she lost her sight and hearing. Conse- 
quently she grew up dumb as well as deaf and blind. Her 
parents appealed to the Perkins Institute in Boston, for the 
education of the blind and deaf, for a trained teacher who 
might awaken the afflicted child's mind. When the little 
girl was seven years old, Miss Anna Sullivan took charge of her 
development. Through the patient and skillful teaching of 
this lady, little Helen was made to realize what language is, 
and taught to spell words upon the hand by the finger alphabet. 
Later, Miss Sullivan took the child to tine Perkins Institute, 
where her development progressed. When she was ten years 
old, she was taught to produce articulate sounds. Guided 
by the movements of the lips and throat of a person speaking, 
movements which she detected through her finger tips, she 
produced with her own lips and throat the movements of 
speaking. This speech, understandable at first only to those 
that were familiar with it, Miss Keller has so developed by 
persistent effort that to-day she speaks in public to large 
audiences that understand her with perfect ease, though the 
sound of her voice is still unnatural. Miss Keller learned to 
use the typewriter with rapidity, to read the books of raised 
print written for the blind, and to read and write in the Braille 
system for the blind. Thus equipped, and aided by her tire- 
less friend, Miss Sullivan, she prepared herself for Radcliffe 
College, passed her examinations, and completed the Rad- 
cliffe course, 1904, doing particularly fine work in English 
and in German. Though, from the difficulty of apprehending 
symbols and carrying problems in her mind, mathematics 
gave her more difficulty, she accomplished the required work. 
Many distinguished people have been Miss Keller's friends, 
won by her affection and by the nobility and the sweetness of 
her nature. Among her friends, none was dearer to her than 
Phillips Brooks. The peculiar circumstances under which 



xl BIOGRAPHICAL NOTES 

Miss Keller's inner life has unfolded have made her a sort of 
Miranda growing up in Prospero's enehanted island. Letters 
16, 17. 

Lamb, Charles. Born in Crown Office Row, in the Temple, 
London, 1775; died at Edmonton, near London, 1834. The 
whole course of Charles Lamb's life was affected by the fits 
of temporary insanity to which his well-beloved sister, Mary, 
was subject. In one of these seizures, Mary Lamb killed her 
mother. To save her from being committed to an asylum, 
Charles Lamb made himself responsible for his sister's future 
conduct. Mary Lamb, much of the time, was entirely nor- 
mal ; then she was the dearest friend, the consoler, and adviser 
of her brother. At uncertain intervals Mary's malady came 
upon her. There was always premonition. The brother 
then took his afflicted sister to an asylum, where she remained 
until her mind was sound again. The tragedy of these 
experiences is revealed in the letter of Charles Lamb on page 
230. Though his sister was closest to him, Lamb had much 
delight in other friends. His letters show his warm friendship 
for Wordsworth and Coleridge, the stimulus that he gained 
from interchange of thought with them, his love of the people 
and the places connected with them. Letters 120, 66, 67, 69, 
98, 99, 63, 75, 8, 76, 95, 77, 7, 68. 

Lambert, Brooke. A clergyman, a particular friend of 
John Richard Green. Letter 125. 

Lincoln, Abraham. Born in Hardin County, Kentucky, 
1809 ; assassinated at Washington, 1S65. Although Lincoln's 
school education was lamentably slight, he read industriously 
and carefully. He was called upon during his eventful life 
to write much. His speeches, addresses, and letters are 



BIOGRAPHICAL NOTES xli 

marked by shrewd good sense, directness, and vigor. In 
those cases in which, as he wrote, his whole nature was 
fused by intense feeling, his style is high and fine, controlled 
by a measured eloquence. The Gettysburg speech and the 
letter to Mrs. Bixby have an almost classic beauty. Letters 
118, 130. 

Longfellow, Henry Wadsworth. Born at Portland, Maine, 
1807; died at Cambridge, Massachusetts, 1882. The letter 
printed on page 37 shows that Longfellow, at seventeen, had 
set his heart upon a literary career. Boyishly, yet with a 
simple dignity, he wrote to his father of his ambitions. It is 
pleasant to think that his high hopes for the future were not 
vain. Letter 15. 

Lowell, James Russell. Born at Cambridge, Massachusetts, 
1819; died there, 1891. Lowell, during his whole life, threw 
himself with energy into public causes. He was never afraid 
to stand in what he considered "the right, with two or three. ,, 
His high ideal of the mission of the journalist is shown in his 
letters to Lawrence Godkin, for many years the editor of The 
Nation. These letters show us, too, Lowell's fresh, vigorous 
style as a letter-writer. Letters 96, 97, 106, 107. 

Meredith, George. Born in Hampshire, England, 1828; 
died, 1909. Meredith is better known as a novelist than as a 
poet, although it was as a young poet that he wrote to Tenny- 
son the letter printed on page 71 — very modest words, very 
gracefully set down. "The Ordeal of Richard Feverel," 
"The Egoist," and "Diana of the Crossways" are as well 
known, perhaps, as any of Meredith's novels. Letter 32. 

Osborne, Dorothy. Became, probably about 1654, the wife of 
the famous Sir William Temple, for whom Dean Swift, in his 



xlii BIOGRAPHICAL NOTES 

youth, was secretary. The marriage of Dorothy Osborne and 
Sir William Temple was preceded by six years of troubled 
courtship. Many adverse circumstances disturbed the course 
of true love, — political differences of the two fathers, dissatis- 
faction of said parents over marriage portions, hostility of 
relatives to the match, and, finally, rival suitors of the fair 
lady, the most considerable of whom was Henry Cromwell, 
the younger son of the Lord Protector. Dorothy Osborne's 
choice remained firmly fixed upon Sir William, with whom she 
corresponded industriously. Sir William's letters have been 
lost; Dorothy's fortunately have been preserved. These 
letters. of hers form a most interesting record of the life of a 
country family in seventeenth-century England. W T e learn 
from them how far the minds of the young ladies "were cul- 
tivated, what were their favorite studies, what degree of liberty 
was allowed to them, what use they made of that liberty, 
what accomplishments they most valued in men, and what 
proofs of tenderness delicacy permitted them to give to 
favored suitors." Dorothy Osborne' is no Belinda. If you 
will compare her with Pope's typical eighteenth-century lady 
in "The Rape of the Lock," you will find her almost modern 
in her common sense, energy, intelligence, and quick wit. 
The spelling of her letters is modernized. The whole series 
of her letters deserves to be read. Letters 139, 140. 

Parker, Theodore. Born at Lexington, Massachusetts, 
1810; died at Florence, Italy, I860. A noted clergyman, 
lecturer, reformer, and author. As he could not afford to go 
to college, Theodore Parker taught school, studied by himself, 
following the courses at Harvard, and took his examinations 
each semester with what would have been his class if he had 
been able to attend college. He accomplished the work in 
the given time, passing all of his examinations, but by the 



BIOGRAPHICAL N01 xliii 

rules of the college was not given a degree. In tin way 

he accomplished his theological training, and was afterwards 
given by Harvard an honorary A.B. and A.M. He was a 
powerful preacher and a vigorous advocate of the abolition of 
slavery. His kind helpfulness to all who needed help made 
him much beloved. He is buried in the Protestant Cemetery 
in Florence. Letter 114. 

Paston, Margaret. A member of a family of Norfolk 
county, England, whose letters, written between 1424 and 
1509, have been preserved. These letters are a valuable 
record of English life in a far-off time. They go back almost 
to the time of Chaucer, and cover the time of the Wars of the 
Roses. They are a storehouse of authentic information. 
Margaret Paston seems to have been a dutiful wife. Letter 
137. 

Piozzi, Hester Lynch (Mrs. Thrale). Born, 1741 ; died, 
1821. A clever English lady, said to have been well educated 
in Latin, Greek, and the modern languages. In 1763, she 
married Henry Thrale, a rich brewer of Southwark, as London 
south of the Thames was called. As Mrs. Thrale, she became 
the devoted friend of Samuel Johnson, who spent much time 
at her home. Mr. Thrale died in 1781. Three years later 
Mrs. Thrale married an Italian musician, named Piozzi. 
This marriage deeply grieved Dr. Johnson. The letters of 
reproach and of defense that passed between the philosopher 
and the lady are full of interest. Letter 126. 

Pliny, "The Younger." Caius Plinius Cheilitis Secundus 
was born at Como, Italy, 62 a.d., and died 113. He was a 
student and author, a nephew of the elder Pliny, who was 
killed by the great eruption of Vesuvius, in 79 a.d. The 



xliv BIOGRAPHICAL NOTES 

younger Pliny was a graceful and vigorous letter-writer. 
Many phases of Roman life appear in his letters. Letters 
132, 133, 134. 

Prescott, William Hickling. Born at Salem, Massachusetts, 
1796; died at Boston, 1859. American historian, his prin- 
cipal works being "History of the Reign of Ferdinand and 
Isabella," "The Conquest of Mexico," "The Conquest of 
Peru." On a visit to England, he was received with dis- 
tinguished honor. His presentation to Queen Victoria he 
describes in a letter to his wife. Letter 40. 

Rossetti, Dante Gabriel. Born at London, 1828; died at 
Birchington, England, 1SS2. Rossetti is about equally 
renowned as poet and as painter. His father was an Italian, 
who fled from Italy on account of political troubles, and 
established himself in England, there marrying Frances Poli- 
dore, English on her mother's side. Lack of money made it 
difficult, in the beginning, for young Rossetti to obtain ade- 
quate artistic training. With the help of his sympathetic 
aunt Charlotte Polidore, however, he put himself under the in- 
struction of Ford Madox Brown, a painter whose work had 
strongly impressed the young artist. Rossetti had a long period 
of struggle, both as poet and as painter, but when recognition 
came, it was emphatic. Ruskin was a great help to Rossetti 
during the years when he was striving to make his way. With 
John Everett Millais and Holman Hunt, Rossetti established 
the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood. This little group of 
painters looked for inspiration to the Italian painters before 
the time of Raphael, such painters as Botticelli. Rossetti 
was a friend of William Morris, with whom he lived for a time 
at Kelmscott. Letters IS, 65, 12, 122. 



BIOGRAPHICAL NOTES xlv 

Ruskin, John. Born at London, 1819; died at Coniston, 
1900. Ruskin's first interest was painting. Later he devoted 
himself to architecture, to geology, and to sociology. His 
letters to C. were written while he was still working for his 
degree at Oxford. He took his degree in 1842. That he had 
already studied deeply and thought much upon the subject 
of art is proved by the fact that he published the first volume 
of " Modern Painters" the year after he graduated from 
Oxford. Letters 101, 117. 

Stanhope, Philip. (Fourth Earl of Chesterfield.) Born 
at London, 1694 ; died, 1773. An English politician, orator, 
and writer, famous as a man of fashion. He took infinite 
pains with the education of his son, Philip Stanhope, writing 
to him letters of instruction, counsel, and advice. The ambi- 
tious father was doomed to disappointment, for the son 
married abroad without the father's knowledge, and, a few 
years after, died. Two little boys were left to their grand- 
father's care. With admirable spirit, Lord Chesterfield be- 
gan once more, writing to his grandsons in much the same 
strain that he had written to his idolized son. Letters 108, 
109, 110, 111. 

Steele, Richard. Born at Dublin, 1672; died, 1729. The 
friend of Addison, founder and editor of The Tatler and, 
next to Addison, the chief contributor to The Spectator. 
He was warm-hearted and generous, but lacking in judgment 
and stability. His letters to "Mrs." Scurlock, afterwards 
his wife, his "dearest Prue," show him as an ardent lover, 
but a rather ill-regulated husband, not altogether a domestic 
joy, one fancies. Letters 141, 142, 143, 144. 

Stephen, Count of Blois and of Chartres. One of the leaders 
of the first crusade. His letter to his wife, Adela, or Adele, 



xlvi BIOGRAPHICAL XOTES 

the daughter of William the Conqueror, is considered "one of 
the most important documents for the history of the first 
crusade." From this letter, the Count of Blois appears to 
have been not only a zealous crusader but a courteous gentle- 
man. Letter 136. 

Story, William Wetmore. Born at Salem, 1819 : died, 
1895. A sculptor and poet. Story spent much of his time in 
Rome, where he was a member of a most interesting group of 
literary and artistic Englishmen and Americans. For Story's 
little daughter, who at the time was sick in Rome, Thackeray 
wrote his delightful "The Rose and the Ring." The Story s 
and the Brownings frequently spent their summers together. 
Perhaps the best-known pieces of sculpture by Story are his 
"Cleopatra" and his "Semiramis." Letter 83. 

Siowe, Harriet Beecher. Born at Litchfield, Connecticut, 
1812; died at Hartford, 1896. Mrs. Stowe's arduous life 
is vividly described in her letters. Though it was often a life 
of exhausting toil, it was full of satisfaction. Mrs. Stowe's 
toil was ungrudging; her spirit ardent and buoyant. Her 
famous "Uncle Tom's Cabin" was published first in serial 
form in the Washington National Era, in book form in 
1852. Her "Oldtown Folks" and "Sam Lawson's Fireside 
Stories" are records of New England life a generation ago. 
Letter 31. 

Tennyson, Alfred. Born at Somersby, 1809; died at 
Aldworth House, Surrey, 1892. "The Life of Alfred, Lord 
Tennyson," by his son, Hallam. gives a most interesting account 
of the poet's life and work, of his friends and his surroundings. 
The person and bearing of Tennyson must have been worthy 
of a poet. He was distinguished without being in the least 



BIOGRAPHICAL NOTES xlvii 

ostentatious. He held himself a little remote from the casual 
acquaintance, but inspired devotion in his intimate friends. 
His letters give a pleasing impression of his personality. 
Letters 85, 26. 

Tennyson, Elizabeth Fytche. The lovely nature of Alfred 
Tennyson's mother shows in the letter to her poet son, printed 
on page 273. Letter 115. 

Thackeray, William Makepeace. Born at Calcutta, 1811; 
died at London, 1863. Though born in India, Thackeray was 
brought to England in his fifth year, so that his connection 
with the land of begums must have been little more than 
sentiment. Unlike Tennyson, Thackeray was fond of society, 
of chit-chat, and of dining out. The author of "Vanity Fair" 
and of "Pendennis" must, of necessity, have been interested 
in oddities of character, in revelations of motive — in a word, 
in all that goes to make human experience. James T. Field, 
in his "Yesterdays with Authors," gives us a delightful impres- 
sion of Thackeray's effervescent humor and his warmth of 
heart. Letter 84. 

Thaxter, Celia Leighton. Born at Plymouth, Xew Hamp- 
shire, 1835; died at the Isles of Shoals, 1894. Mrs. Thaxter 
holds a high rank among the lesser American poets; but an 
even higher rank as a noble type of womanhood. Mr. 
Leighton, her father, for some reason out of accord with the 
world of men, settled his family upon the otherwise unin- 
habited island of Appledore, one of the Isles of Shoals, off 
the coast of New Hampshire. Celia Thaxter loved the Isles 
with an intense devotion; a biographer says, "If it were 
ever intended that a desolate island in the deep sea should be 
inhabited by one solitary family, then indeed Celia Thaxter 



Xlviii BIOGRAPHICAL NOTES 

was the fitting daughter of that family." Mrs. Thaxter's 
collected letters should be read in full. They are admirable 
in style and most interesting as a record of an unusual life. 
Letter 100. 

Walpole, Horace. Born at London, 1717; died there, 1797. 
He was the third son of Sir Robert Walpole, the first Prime 
Minister of England. He early formed a friendship with the 
poet Gray, with whom he traveled through France and Italy, 
visiting in Florence Horace Mann, for forty-six years the 
British envoy to the court of the Grand Duke of Tuscany. 
Through the distinguished position of Walpole' s father, the 
two young men had exceptional opportunities to enjoy their 
" grand tour." Amicably as the experience began, the two 
friends, while in Italy, had a serious difference, which caused 
them to separate. Walpole later took all the blame of the 
unfortunate occurrence upon himself. Though a nominal 
reconciliation was effected in 1744, and Walpole always 
expressed the greatest admiration for Gray and his poetry, 
the old relations were never resumed. Shortly after Ins 
return to England, Walpole purchased an estate called 
Strawberry Hill, on the Thames, near Twickenham. This 
place he made famous, turning the modest cottage into a Gothic 
villa, in the questionable taste then prevalent among the 
fashionable literary circle of London, of which he was a leader. 
At Strawberry Hill he surrounded himself with works of art 
in the style which he approved. Here he studied and wrote, 
printed his books on a private press that he had set up at his 
house, and here he entertained his chosen friends. He was a 
great figure, too, in London life. His long Parliamentary 
career, 1741 to 1768, covering the troubled times of the 
American Revolution, put him in close touch with the political 
life of England. All these varied phases of the life of his times 



BIOGRAPHICAL NOTES xlix 

are shown in his voluminous correspondence, making the 
nine bulky volumes a rich mine for the student of history and 
of life and manners. His letters, written with admirable ease 
and spirit, are as amusing as they are instructive. Letters 
104, 103, 105, 41, 42, 43, 93, 94. 

Winthrop, Margaret. The wife of John Winthrop, a gov- 
ernor of Massachusetts colony. John Winthrop came to New 
England in 1630. Margaret Winthrop joined him in 1631. 
The letter of Margaret Winthrop to her husband was written 
in 1637, when John Winthrop was chosen for the fifth time 
governor of the colony. He was then in Newtown, where the 
election was held, instead of Boston, on account of the party 
strife at that time stirring Boston. Henry Vane, the former 
governor, had supported Anne Hutchinson, whose religious 
beliefs had aroused much opposition. John Winthrop op- 
posed Anne Hutchinson and Henry Vane. Winthrop was 
chosen governor, and Anne Hutchinson was banished from the 
colony. Margaret Winthrop, at the time that she wrote the 
letter to her husband in Newtown, was much distressed by the 
agitations in the colony, and much exercised over the part 
that her husband was playing in them. Letter 138. 



THE MECHANICAL FORM OF A 
LETTER 

The mechanical form of a letter is important. Ig- 
norance or carelessness in regard to the position of place 
and date, margins, and so forth produces a very un- 
favorable impression. Let us draw up some specifica- 
tions in regard to the form of a letter. 

Choose white, unlined note paper, without ornamen- 
tation, and envelopes with no eccentricity of shape. 

The address, plainly engraved at the head 

Ps.D6r 
of the note paper, is in good taste ; but 

perfectly plain note paper, of good quality, is in just 
as correct taste. 

Make your penmanship legible and regular. Legi- 
bility depends upon four requirements : to form each 
letter truly, to unite all the letters of a word, Penman- 
to leave a distinct space between words, not ship 
to let the loop-letters of one line interlace with the letters 
of the line above or below. If you obey these four 
rules and keep your writing regular, your penmanship 
will be both clear and comely. Learn to keep your lines 

li 



lii THE MECHANICAL FORM OF A LETTER 

straight on unlined paper. If you cannot do this 
surely, place a heavily lined paper under the paper upon 
which you are writing. Use black ink. 

Note the following : 

Placing and 560 Broad Street 

Phrasing May 30, 1916 

My dear Mrs. Reynolds, 

May I keep, for another week, the copy of 
Chesterton's "All Things Considered" that you lent 

me? I want etc. 

Sincerely yours, 

Francis Halliday. 

Do not begin too near the top of the page. If the note 
is to take up a whole page or more, begin on the second 
line space. If the note is to take up only the middle of 
the page, begin lower. In writing the place and the 
date, do not abbreviate, unless the complete words 
would make the lines awkwardly long. In general, 
avoid abbreviations, except the regulation Mr., Mrs., 
Dr., etc. No punctuation is needed at the end of the 
place or the date. A comma, of course, is placed 
between the month and the year. Write May 30, not 
May 30th. Keep two equal and even margins, the 
width depending upon the size of your paper, usually 
about half an inch. The end of the date establishes 
the right-hand margin ; the beginning of the salutation, 



THE MECHANICAL FORM OF A LETTER liii 

the left-hand margin. Write the salutation in the line- 
space next below the date. It is awkward to leave a 
space between the date and the salutation. This is a 
common fault. The salutation should be followed 
by a comma or a colon, comma preferred. "My dear" 
is more formal than " Dear." If you write " My dear," 
be sure not to capitalize dear. The first line of the body 
of the letter may begin directly under the comma at 
the end of the salutation, or about halfway back. 
Other paragraphs should be indented twice the margin. 
End your letter with a complete sentence. For the 
complimentary close, as it is called, there are several 
phrases that are in good taste : Sincerely yours, Truly 
yours, Sincerely your friend, I am, sincerely yours, etc. 
The first is as good as any. It is better not to attempt 
to be in any wise unusual in this little phrase. Con- 
vention decides the form for us, except with our most 
intimate friends. If you use the form / remain, be 
sure to use it sensibly. You remain sincerely, etc., if 
you have been a friend for some time. To a compara- 
tive stranger, the form would be / am, sincerely, 
etc. It is nonsense to write I remain, your son, or your 
daughter. Place a comma after the complimentary 
close. 

In going from page to page of your note paper, follow 
the order regularly, first, second, third, fourth, unless 
you are writing a note of only two pages, then write 
on the first and the third. 



liv THE MECHANICAL FORM OF A LETTER 
Observe the following address of an envelope : 



Mrs. George Reynolds 
65 Franklin Street 
Arlington 

Massachusetts 



The address of an envelope is a problem in spacing. 
If the spacing is not good, the effect is very unpleasant. 
The Address ^ person should take pride in addressing an 
of the envelope well. The name should be placed a 

Envelope little above the middle of the envelope, re- 
membering that the stamp and the postmark will fill the 
upper space. The space to the left of Mrs. should be 
about the same as the space to the right of Massachu- 
setts. The address should not be cramped, nor placed 
too high nor too low on the envelope. It should be 
kept straight. Xo end punctuation is needed. Do not 
abbreviate, except titles. 

The forms and the phrases that we have discussed 
admit of considerable variety. The directions herein 
given set forth one correct style for the form of a letter. 
Others are allowable, but this one is safe. 



ACKNOWLEDGMENTS 

The editor acknowledges gratefully her indebtedness 
to Mr. John S. P. Alcottand to Messrs. Little, Brown,, 
and Company for permission to reprint three letters 
from "Louisa May Alcott : Her Life, Letters, and 
Journals," edited byEdnah D. Cheney; to Miss Helen 
Keller and to Messrs. Doubleday, Page, and Company 
for two letters from " The Story of My Life " ; to Messrs. 
Little, Brown, and Company for four letters from 
"Dante Gabriel Rossetti : Family Letters," edited by 
William Rossetti; to Messrs. Doubleday, Page, and 
Company for extracts from Lady Duff Gordon's 
"Letters from Egypt"; to Messrs. Dodd, Mead, and 
Company for two letters from "Letters from Dorothy 
Osborne to Sir William Temple," edited by Edw T ard 
Abbott Parry; to the Century Company for three 
letters from "The Life and Letters of Lewis Carroll," 
and for two letters from "The Complete Works of 
Abraham Lincoln," edited by John S. Nicolay and John 
Hay ; to the John Lane Company for two letters from 
"Dr. Johnson and Mrs. Thrale," by A. M. Broadley, 
and for three letters from "New Letters of Thomas 

lv 



lvi ACKNOWLEDGMENTS 

Carlyle/' edited by Alexander Carlyle; to Messrs. 
Longmans, Green, and Company for six letters from 
"Letters and Memorials of Jane Welsh Carlyle," 
edited by J. A. Froude ; to Messrs. Houghton Mifflin 
Company for one letter from "Nathaniel Haw- 
thorne and His Wife," by Julian Hawthorne, one letter 
from "Life and Letters of Harriet Beecher Stowe," 
edited by Annie Field, one letter from "Letters of 
Sarah Orne Jewett," edited by Annie Field, one letter 
from "Letters of Celia Thaxter," edited by A. F. and 
R. L., one letter from "Life of Henry Wadsworth 
Longfellow," edited by Samuel Longfellow, one letter 
from "William Wetmore Story and His Friends," 
by Henry James; to G. H. Putnam's Sons for four 
letters from "Life and Letters of Washington Irving," 
by Pierre Irving; to G. H. Putnam's Sons and The 
American Unitarian Association for one letter from 
"Theodore Parker," by O. B. Frothingham ; to Messrs. 
Appleton and Company for four letters from " Richard 
Steele," by Austin Dobson, copyrighted by Appleton 
and Company ; to Messrs. E. P. Dutton and Company 
for seven letters from Phillips Brooks's "Letters of 
Travel," copyrighted by E. P. Dutton; and to the 
Macmillan Company for extracts from "Life and 
Letters of Elizabeth Barrett Browning," from "Letters 
of Matthew Arnold," collected by W. E. Russell, from 
"Letters of Charles Lamb," edited by Alfred Ainger, 
from "Letters of John Richard Green," edited by 



ACKNOWLEDGMEX T8 lvii 

Leslie Stephen, from "Life and Letters of Thomas 
Henry Huxley," by Leonard Huxley ; for a letter by 
Thomas Hughes and a letter by Brooke Lambert from 
"Life and Letters of Alexander Macmillan," by Charles 
Graves ; for a letter by George Hughes from " Memoir 
of a Brother," by Thomas Hughes ; for one letter from 
" William Hickling Prescott," by Harry Thurston Peck ; 
for four letters of Lowell from "Life and Letters of 
Lawrence Godkin," by Rollo Godkin ; for one letter 
of Thackeray, two of Tennyson, and one of Mrs. Tenny- 
son, from " Alfred Lord Tennyson," by Hallam Tenny- 
son ; for two letters of Fitzgerald and one of Meredith 
from "Tennyson and His Friends," by Hallam, Lord 
Tennyson ; for two letters of Ruskin from " Letters to a 
College Friend." 

The letter of Stephen, Count of Blois, is from " Trans- 
lations and Reprints" of the Department of History of 
the University of Pennsylvania, Vol. I, No. 4; the 
letters of Walpole from "Letters of Horace Walpole," 
edited by P. Cunningham ; the letter of Margaret 
Paston from "The Paston Letters," edited by James 
Gairdner ; the letter of Margaret Winthrop from " Life 
and Letters of John Winthrop." 

Thanks are due to the staff of the Newark Public 
Library for kind assistance in the preparation of this 
little book. 



COLLECTION OF LETTERS FROM 
MANY PENS 

I. The Daily Course of Life — Chat about Home 

Matters 

(1) Hawthorne to His Sister Louisa 

Brook Farm, West Roxbury, May 3, 1841. 

As the weather precludes all possibility of ploughing, 
hoeing, sowing, and other such operations, I bethink 
me that you may have no objections to hear something 
of my whereabout and whatabout. You are to 5 
know, then, that I took up my abode here on the 12th 
ultimo, in the midst of a snow-storm, which kept us 
all idle for a day or two. At the first glimpse of fair 
weather, Mr. Ripley ° summoned us into the cow-yard, 
and introduced me to an instrument with four prongs, 10 
commonly entitled a dung-fork. With this tool I 
have already assisted to load twenty or thirty carts 
of manure, and shall take part in loading nearly three 
hundred more. Besides, I have planted potatoes and 
pease, cut straw and hay for the cattle, and done 15 
various other mighty works. This very morning I 
milked three cows, and I milk two or three every night 
and morning. The weather has been so unfavorable 
11 1 



2 COLLECTION OF LETTERS 

that we have worked comparatively little in the fields ; 
but, nevertheless, I have gained strength wonderfully, 
— grown quite a giant, in fact, — and can do a day's 
work without the slightest inconvenience. In short, 
5 I am transformed into a complete farmer. 

This is one of the most beautiful places I ever saw 
in my life, and as secluded as if it were a hundred miles 
from any city or village. There are woods, in which 
we can ramble all day without meeting anybody or 

10 scarcely seeing a house. Our house stands apart 
from the main road, so that we are not troubled even 
with passengers looking at us. Once in a while we 
have a transcendental visitor, such as Mr. Alcott; 
but generally we pass whole days without seeing a 

15 single face, save those of the brethren. The whole 
fraternity eat together; and such a delectable way of 
life has never been seen on earth since the days of the 
early Christians. We get up at half -past four, break- 
fast at half-past six, dine at half-past twelve, and go 

20 to bed at nine. 

The thin frock which you made for me is considered 
a most splendid article, and I should not wonder if 
it were to become the summer uniform of the Com- 
munity. I have a thick frock, likewise; but it is 

25 rather deficient in grace, though extremely warm and 
comfortable. I wear a tremendous pair of cowhide 
boots, with soles two inches thick, — of course, when 
I come to see you I shall wear my farmer's dress. 



COLLECTION OF LETTERS 3 

We shall be very much occupied during most of this 

month, ploughing and planting; so that I doubt 

whether you will see me for two or three weeks. You 

have the portrait by this time, I suppose ; so you can 

very well dispense with the original. When you write 5 

to me (which I beg you will do soon), direct your 

letter to West Roxbury, as there are two post-offices 

in the town. I would write more, but William Allen 

is going to the village, and must have this letter. So 

good-by. I0 

Nath. Hawthorne, Ploughman. 

(2) Louisa May Alcoit to Her Sister 

Boston Bulletin, — Ninth Issue 

Sunday Eve, November, 1858. 

My blessed Nan, — Having finished my story, I can 
refresh my soul by a scribble to you, though I have 15 
nothing to tell of much interest. 

Mrs. L. is to pay me my "celery" each month, as 
she likes to settle all bills in that way; so yesterday 
she put $20.85 into my willing hands, and gave me 
Saturday p.m. for a holiday. This unexpected $20, 20 
with the $10 for my story (if I get it) and $5 for sewing, 
will give me the immense sum of $35. I shall get a 
second-hand carpet for the little parlor, a bonnet for 
you, and some shoes and stockings for myself, as three 
times round the Common in cold weather conduces 25 



1 COLLECTION OF LETTERS 

to chilblains, owing to stockings with a profusion of 
toe, but no heel, and shoes with plenty of heel, but a 
paucity of toe. The prejudices of society demand that 
my feet be covered in the houses of the rich and great ; 
5 so I shall hose and shoe myself, and if any of my fortune 
is left, will invest it in the Alcott Sinking Fund, the 
Micawber R. R., and the Skimpole three per cents. 

Tell me how much carpet you need, and T. S. will 
find me a good one. In December I shall have' another 

to S20 ; so let me know what is wanting, and don't live on 
"five pounds of rice and a couple of quarts of split 
pease" all winter, I beg. 

How did you like' "Mark Field's Mistake"? I 
don't know whether it is good or bad ; but it will keep 

15 the* pot boiling, and I ask no more. I wanted to go 
and see if "Hope's Treasures" was accepted, but was 
afeared. M. and H. both appeared ; but one fell asleep, 
and the other forgot to remember ; so I still wait like 
Patience on a hard chair, smiling at an inkstand. Miss 

20 K. asked me to go to see Booth for the last time on 
Saturday. Upon this ravishing thought I brooded all 
the week very merrily, and I danced, sang, and clashed 
my cymbals daily. Saturday a.m. Miss K. sent word 
she couldn't go, and from my pinnacle of joy I was 

25 precipitated into an abyss of woe. While in said abyss 
Mrs. L. put the $20 into my hands. That was a 
moment of awful trial. Every one of those dollars 
cried aloud, " What, ho ! Come hither, and be happy ! " 



COLLECTION OF LETTER 5 

But eight cold feet on a straw carpet marched to and 
fro so pathetically that I locked up the tempting 
fiend, and fell to sewing, as a Saturday treat ! 

But, lo ! virtue was rewarded. Mrs. H. came flying 
in, and took me to the Museum to see "Gold" and 5 
"Lend Me Five Shillings. " Warren, in an orange tie, 
red coat, white satin vest, and scarlet ribbons on his 
ankles, was the funniest creature you ever saw; and 
I laughed till I cried, — which was better for me than 
the melancholy Dane, I dare say. 10 

I'm disgusted with this letter; for I always begin 
trying to be proper and neat ; but my pen will not keep 
in order, and ink has a tendency to splash when used 
copiously and with rapidity. I have to be so moral and 
so dignified nowadays that the jocosity of my nature will 15 
gush out when it gets a chance, and the consequences 
are, as you see, rubbish. But you like it; so let's be 
merry while we may, for to-morrow is Monday, and 
the weekly grind begins again. 

(3) Elizabeth Barrett Browning to Miss Mitford 

May 28, 1848. 20 

. . . And now I must tell you what we have done 
since I wrote last, little thinking of doing so. You see 
our problem was to get to England as much in our 
summers as possible, the expense of the intermediate 
journeys making it difficult of solution. On examina- 25 



6 COLLECTION OF LETTERS 

tion of the whole case, it appeared manifest that we 
were throwing money into the Arno° by our way of 
taking furnished rooms, while to take an apartment 
and furnish it would leave us a clear return of the 
5 furniture at the end of the first year in exchange for our 
outlay, and of all but a free residence afterwards, with 
the privilege of making it productive by under-letting 
at our good pleasure. For instance, rooms we paid 
four guineas a month for, we could have the whole year 

10 unfurnished at ten or twelve — the cheapness of the 
furniture being besides something quite fabulous, 
especially at the present crisis. Laying which facts 
together, and seeing besides the all but necessity for us 
to reside abroad the colder part of every year, we leapt 

15 on our feet to the obvious conclusion you have before 
you, and though the temptation was too strong for us 
to adopt quite the cheapest ways of the cheap scheme, 
by the dense economy of preferring small rooms, &c. — 
though, in fact, we have really done it magnificently, 

20 and planted ourselves in the Guidi Palace, in the 
favorite suite of the last count (his arms are in scagliola 
on the floor of my bedroom) ; though we have six 
beautiful rooms and a kitchen, three of them quite 
palace rooms and opening on a terrace; and though 

25 such furniture as comes by slow degrees into them 

- is antique and worthy of the place — we yet shall have 
saved money by the close of this year ; while for next 
year, see ! we shall let our apartment to go to England, 



COLLECTION OF LETTERS 7 

drawing from it the product of 'furnished rooms/ 
Now I tell you all this lest you hear dreadful rumors 
of our having forsaken our native land, venerable 
institutions and all — whereas we remember it so well 
(it's a dear land in many senses) that we have done this 5 
thing chiefly in order to make sure of being able to get 
back comfortably. My friends the Martins used to 
have a home in Normandy, and carry the key of it in 
their pocket, going there just every year at fishing 
time. A corner in Florence may pass for a still better 10 
thing, even without the terrace, and the orange trees 
and camellias we mean to throng it with. A stone's 
throw, too, it is from the Pitti°; and really, in my 
present mind, I would scarcely exchange with the Grand 
Duke himself. Our rooms are delightful, and Flush ° 15 
agrees to praise them, all but the terrace, which he con- 
siders full of risks. There he will go only by himself 
or with me. To walk there three at a time may in- 
volve a pushing off into the street, of which he has a 
lively sense in his imagination. By the bye, as to street 20 
we have no spectators at windows — just the gray wall 
of a church, called San Felice for good omen. Now 
have you heard enough of us? What I claimed first, 
in way of privilege, was a spring sofa to loll upon, and a 
supply of rain water to wash in ; and you should see 25 
what a picturesque oil jar they have given us for the 
latter purpose. It would just hold the captain of the 
forty thieves. As to the chairs and tables, I yield the 



8 COLLECTION OF LETTERS 

more especial interest in them to Robert. Only, you 

would laugh to hear us correct one another sometimes. 

'Dear, you get too many drawers and not enough 

washing stands. Pray, don't let us have any more 

5 drawers, when we've nothing more to put into them/ 

There was no division on the necessity of having six 

spoons — some questions pass themselves. Now do 

write to me, and be as egotistical. . . . May God bless 

you, my beloved friend. Write soon, and of yourself, 

10 to your ever affectionate 

Ba.° 

My husband's regards go to you, of course. 

(4) Jane Carlyle to Mrs. Aitken 

Chelsea: Aug. 1835. 

My dear Jane, — Even the doubt expressed in 

i 5 your last letter about the durability of my affection was 

more agreeable to me than the brief notice which you 

usually put me off with, 'remember us to Mrs. Carlyle,' 

or still worse, 'remember us to your lady.' I have 

told you often that it afflicts me to be always, in the 

20 matter of correspondence with you, obliged, like the 

Annandale man, to thank God ' for the blessings made 

to pass over my head. ' It ought not, perhaps, to 

make any difference whether your letters be addressed 

to him or me, but it does. You never in your life 

2s answered a letter of mine (and I have written you 



COLLECTION OF LETTEI, 9 

several), exeept little business notes from Dumfries, 
which eould not be considered any voluntary expression 
of kind remembrance. Had you even expressed a wish 
to hear from me since I came here, I would nevertheless 
have written, being of a disposition to receive thankfully 5 
the smallest mercies when greater are denied ; but, as 
I said, you have always put me off with a bare recogni- 
tion of my existence, which was small 'encouragement.' 
The fact is, we are both of us, I believe, too proud. We 
go upon the notion of 'keeping up our dignity, Mr. 10 
Arnot/ You have it by inheritance from your mother, 
who (as I have often told herself) with a great profes- 
sion of humility is swallowed up in this sin ; and I 
have possibly been seduced into it by her example, 
which I was simple enough to consider a safe one to 15 
imitate in all respects. 

For my part, however, I am quite willing to enter 
into a compact with you henceforth to resist the devil, 
in so far as he interferes with our mutual good under- 
standing ; for few things were more pleasant for me 20 
than to 'tell you sundry news of every kind/ nay, 
rather ' every thought which enters in within this shallow 
mind/ had I but the least scrap of assurance of your con- 
tentment therewith. 

Now that my mother is actually coming, I am more 25 
reconciled to my disappointment about Scotland. 
Next year, God willing, I shall see you all again. Mean- 
while, T am wonderfully well hefted here ; the people are 



10 COLLECTION OF LETTERS 

extravagantly kind to me, and in most respects my 
situation is out of sight more suitable than it was at 
Craigenputtock. Of late weeks Carlyle has also been 
getting on better with his writing, which has been 

5 uphill work since the burning of the first manuscript. 
I do not think that the second version is on the whole 
inferior to the first ; it is a little less vivacious, perhaps, 
but better thought and put together. One chapter 
more brings him to the end of his second ' first volume/ 

io and then we shall sing a Te Deum and get drunk — for 
which, by the way, we have unusual facilities at present, 
a friend (Mr. Wilson) having yesterday sent us a 
present of a hamper (some six or seven pounds' worth) 
of the finest old Madeira wine. These Wilsons are 

15 about the best people we know here; the lady, verging 
on old maidenism, is distinctly the cleverest woman 
I know. 

Then there are Sterlings, who, from the master of 
the house down to the footman, are devoted to me 

20 body and soul ; it is between us as between ' Beauty 
and the Beast' : — 

Speak your wishes, speak your will, 
Swift obedience meets you still. 

I have only to say 'I should like to see such a thing,' 

25 or ' to be at such a place,' and next day a carriage is at 

the door, or a boat is on the river to take me if I please 

to the ends of the earth. Through them we have 



COLLECTION OF LETTERS 11 

plumped into as pretty an Irish connection as one would 
wish. Among the rest is a Mr. Dunn, an Irish clergy- 
man, who would be the delight of your mother's heart — 
a perfect personification of the spirit of Christianity. 
You may take this fact to judge him by, that he has 5 
refused two bishoprics in the course of his life, for con- 
science sake. We have also some Italian acquaint- 
ances. An Italian Countess Clementina Degli Antoni 
is the woman to make my husband faithless, if such a 
one exist, so beautiful, so graceful, so melodious, so 10 
witty, so everything that is fascinating for the heart 
of man. I am learning from her to speak Italian, and 
she finds, she says, that I have a divine talent (divino 
talento). She is coming to tea this evening, and 
another Italian exile, Count De Pepoli, and a Danish 15 
young lady, 'Singeress to the King of Denmark,' and 
Mr. Sterling and my old lover George Rennie. 'The 
victualling' of so many people is here a trifle, or rather 
a mere affair of the imagination : tea is put dow T n, and 
tiny biscuits ; they sip a few drops of tea, and one or two 20 
sugar biscuits * victuals ' a dozen ordinary eaters. So that 
the thing goes off with small damage to even a long- 
necked purse. The expenditure is not of one's money, 
but of one's wits and spirits ; and that is sometimes so 
considerable as to leave one too exhausted for sleeping 25 
after. 

I have been fidgeted with another change of servants. 
The woman recommended to me bv Mrs. Austin turned 



12 COLLECTION OF LETTERS 

out the best servant I had ever had, though a rather 
unamiable person in temper, etc. We got on, however, 
quite harmoniously, and the affairs of the house were 
conducted to my entire satisfaction, when suddenly 
5 she was sent for home to attend a sick mother ; and, 
after three weeks' absence, during which time I had 
to find a charwoman to supply her place, she sent me 
word, the other day, that, in the state of uncertainty 
she was kept in she could not expect her place to remain 

10 longer vacant for her. The next day I lighted on an 
active, tidy-looking Irish Roman Catholic in a way so 
singular that I could not help considering her as in- 
tended for me by Providence, and boding well of our 
connection. She is not come yet, but will be here on 

15 Wednesday ; and in the meanwhile my charwoman, 
who has her family in the workhouse, does quite toler- 
ably. 

One comfort is, that I have not to puddle about my- 
self here, as I used to have with the 'soot drops' at 

20 Craigenputtock ; the people actually do their own work, 
better or worse. . . . For all which, and much more, 
we have reason to be thankful. 

I must not finish without begging your sympathy 
in a disaster befallen me since I commenced this letter — 

25 the cat has eaten one of my canaries ! Not Chico, poor 
dear; but a young one which I hatched myself. I 
have sent the abominable monster out of my sight, for 
ever — transferred her to Mrs. Hunt. 



COLLECTION OF LETTERS 13 

With kindest regards to every one of you, prattlers 

included, 

Yours affectionately, 

Jane Carlyle. 

(5) Thomas Carlyle to His Mother 

5 Cheyne Row, Chelsea, London, 5 
5th August, 1834. 

My dear Mother — ... Life here in Cheyne 
Row ° goes on in the steadiest manner ; nothing to glory 
in ; much to be glad of, and humbly thankful for. Our 
House is all settled and swept long ago, and proceeding 10 
at a fixed rate, our accounts all paid off ; so we know in 
some measure what we have to look for. Living is 
really not very much dearer than at Puttock ° ; one has 
a less plenteous supply in some things ; but on the w r hole 
what it amounts to " ultimately " is no such grand 15 
matter, "after all." We calculated that we could live 
here, everything included, for £200, and seem as if we 
could for less. At all events there will be no more " fif- 
teen pounds for fodder" or other provoking items of that 
sort to pay ; but for one's money there will be real ware 20 
of some kind. In all other respects, as you at once 
judge, I am much better off, and feel habitually that 
here or nowhere is the place for me. Old Annandale itself 
seems lovelier than it ever did : often in the still sunset, 
when I am alone, it comes before me with its green 25 



14 COLLECTION OF LETTERS 

knoices and clear-rushing burns, and all the loved ones 
that I have there, above the ground and below it ; and 
I feel a sweet unsullied affection for it all, and a holy faith 
that God is there as here, and in His merciful hand is 
5 the life and lot of every one of us for Eternity as for 
Time. Unspeakably wearisome, in such seasons, were 
the light cackle of the worldly-minded : but indeed I am 
not much troubled with that. Once for all one should 
"set his face like a flint" against the idolatries of men, 

10 and determine that his little section of Existence shall 
not be a mad empty Dream, but as far as possible a 
Reality. 

I have not w T ritten anything whatever for Reviews 
or Magazines since we came hither ; and am not likely 

15 to write. In fact, it is rather my feeling that I should 
abandon that whole despicable business, and seek 
diligently out for some freer field to labor in. Nothing 
can exceed the hollow frothiness and even dishonest 
blackguardism of literature generally at present: but 

20 what then ? This is even the very thing thou art sent 
to amend! Mill's Review is to go on, about New- 
year's day next ; there, it is possible, I may contribute 
something: but there too I wait till I see further 
before taking any very fixed hold. My former Book, 

25 that came out through Fraser, is happily at last all 
printed within these last days : I hope to send you, and 
some others of them, a full copy of it about the begin- 
ning of next month by the Dumfries Bookseller. You 



COLLECTION OF LETTERS 15 

will have leisure to peruse and consider it ; and finding it 
very queer, may not find it altogether empty and false. 
It has met with next to no recognition that I hear of 
in these parts ; a circumstance not to be surprised at, 
not to be wept over. On the other hand, my American 5 
Friend (you remember hearing of him at Puttock) 
sends me a week ago the most cheering Letter of thanks 
for it (with two braw American Books, as a present), 
and bids me go on in God's name, for in remotest 
nooks, in distant ends of the Earth, men are listening 10 
to me and loving me. This Letter, which did me a 
real benefit, and will give you (the Philosopher's 
Mother) great pleasure, shall be sent to you : I would 
send it to-day, but that I fear the frank will be already 
too heavy. The vain clatter of fools, either for or 15 
against, is worth nothing, for indeed it is simply nothing : 
but the hearty response of earnest men, of one earnest 
man, is very precious. Meanwhile I employ all my 
days in getting ready for the new Book (on the French 
Revolution), and think, if I am spared with health, 20 
there is likelihood that it will be in print, with my 
name to it, early in spring. I will do my very best and 
truest ; give me your prayers and hopes ! This task 
of mine takes labor enough : I am up once or twice 
weekly at the British Museum for Books about it ; 25 
these are almost my only occasions of visiting that 
fiercely tumultuous region of the city, which is at 
least four miles from me. I walk slowly up the shady 



16 COLLECTION OF LETTERS 

side of the streets ; and come slowly down again, about 
four o'clock, often smoking a cigar, and feeling more or 
less independent of all men. 

Several of our friends (the Bullers for instance) are 
5 gone out of town. We have made, at least Jane has 
made, a most promising new acquaintance, of a Mrs. 
Taylor ; a young beautiful reader of mine and " dearest 
friend" of Mill's, who for the present seems "all that is 
noble" and what not. We shall see how that wears. 

10 We are to dine there on Tuesday. . . . Hunt, nor 
the Hunts, does not trouble us more than we wish : 
he comes in when we send for him ; talks, listens to a 
little music, even sings and plays a little, eats (without 
kitchen of any kind, or only with a little sugar) his 

15 allotted plate of porridge, and then goes his ways. His 
way of thought and mine are utterly at variance; a 
thing which grieves him much, not me. He accounts 
for it by my "Presbyterian upbringing," which I tell 
him always I am everlastingly grateful for. He talks 

20 forever about "happiness," and seems to me the very 
miserablest man I ever sat and talked with. . . . 

Coleridge, a very noted literary man here, of whom 
you may have heard me speak, died about a week 
ago, at the age of sixty-two. An apothecary had sup- 

25 ported him for many years : his wife and children 
shifted elsewhere as they could. He could earn no 
money, could set himself steadfastly to no painful 
task; took to opium and poetic and philosophic 



COLLECTION OF LETTERS 17 

dreaming. A better faculty has not been often worse 
wasted. Yet withal he was a devout man, and did 
something, both by writing and speech. Among the 
London Literaries he has not left his like or second. 
Peace be with him. 5 

Here then is the end, dear Mother! My kindest 
brotherly love to all, including Jenny ; Jane is not 
here at the moment to add hers, but would grieve 
much if it were not habitually understood. All good 
be with you all ! 10 

Ever your affectionate Son, 

T. Carlyle. 

(6) Matthew Arnold to His Mother 

West Humble, June 30, 1866. 

My dearest Mother, — Your long double letter 
and anecdotes deserved a speedier answer. Every- 15 
thing about Wordsworth and Coleridge is interesting. 
Papa's letter was curious. Certainly if one of our boys 
now wrote such a letter we should call it prim, if not 
priggish. Much is due, no doubt, to the greater for- 
mality of sixty years ago, but I imagine that it really 20 
was not till after he had grown up that papa got that 
freedom of nature and humor which we all associate 
with him, and which were so charming. In return for 
your anecdotes I must tell you one about Lucy.° She 
was on the lawn with Flu° and Mrs. Slade when the 25 
c 



18 COLLECTION OF LETTERS 

cat jumped out of the bushes with a bird in her mouth. 
Mrs. Slade called out, "Oh, that horrid cat has got a 
bird"; but, as she herself says, for a thousand birds 
she should not have ventured to interfere. Lucy 
5 sprang on the cat, seized it by the throat, made it 
drop* the bird, pushed it away, and stroked and 
smoothed the bird for a minute or two till it flew off 
quite happy. The charming thing is, she had not a 
notion of doing anything remarkable, and is troubled 

10 about having given the cat a violent push from her, and 
says, " I couldn't help giving the cat a slap, but I hope I 
didn't hurt it, because you know, mamma, it was its 
nature to kill birds." 

Dicky ° came home yesterday, looking splendidly well. 

15 To-day he goes with me to Wotton, to fish and bathe 
in the bathing-house. We had a beautiful drive yester- 
day between slopes red with the wild strawberry ; and 
the wild flowers are so abundant and so curious, this 
confluence of the chalk and the greensand being ex- 

20 traordinarily favorable for them, that I often wish for 
Fan° to see them with me. We have got Miss Pratt's 
book, and verify unceasingly; but a third volume is 
much wanted, as so many flowers are absent from 
the two published ; for instance, there is not a single 

25 saxifrage in them. 

******* 
Dicky has just come in in trousers. It breaks one's 
heart to think of his changing the dress that one knows 



COLLECTION OF LETTERS 19 

him so by. Budge does not come for a fortnight. My 
Report plagues me dreadfully. 

Your ever affectionate 

M. A. 

(7) Charles Lamb to William Wordsworth 

September 28, 1805. 5 

My dear Wordsworth (or Dorothy rather, for to you 
appertains the biggest part of this answer by right) — I 
will not again deserve reproach by so long a silence. I 
have kept deluding myself with the idea that Mary 
would write to you, but she is so lazy (or, which 1 10 
believe is the true state of the case, so diffident), that 
it must revert to me as usual. Though she writes a 
pretty good style, and has some notion of the force 
of words, she is not always so certain of the true 
orthography of them ; and that, and a poor handwriting 15 
(in this age of female calligraphy), often deters her, 
where no other reason does. 

We have neither of us been very well for some weeks 
past. I am very nervous, and she most so at those 
times when I am ; so that a merry friend, adverting to 20 
the noble consolation we were able to afford each other, 
denominated us, not unaptly, Gumboil and Tooth- 
Ache, for they used to say that a gumboil is a great 
relief to a tooth-ache. 

We have been two tiny excursions this Summer, for 25 



20 COLLECTIOX OF LETTERS 

three or four days each, to a place near Harrow, and to 
Egham, where Cooper's Hill is : and that is the total 
history of our rustications this year. Alas ! how poor 
a round to Skiddaw and Helvellyn, and Borrowdale, 
5 and the magnificent sesquipedalia ° of the year 1S02 ! 
Poor old Molly! to have lost her pride, that "last in- 
firmity of noble minds/' ° and her cow. Fate need not 
have set her wits to such an old Molly. I am heartily 
sorry for her. Remember us lovingly to her; and in 

10 particular remember us to Mrs. Clarkson in the most 
kind manner. 

I hope, by "southwards," you mean that she will be 
at or near London, for she is a great favorite of both' 
of us, and we feel for her health as much as possible 

15 for any one to do. She is one of the friendliest, com- 
fortablest women we know, and made our little stay 
at your cottage one of the pleasantest times we ever 
past. We were quite strangers to her. Mr. C. is with 
you too ; our kindest separate remembrances to him. 

20 As to our special affairs, I am looking about me. I 
have done nothing since the beginning of last year, 
when I lost my newspaper job ; and having had a long 
idleness, I must do something, or we shall get very poor. 
Sometimes I think of a farce, but hitherto all schemes 

25 have gone off ; an idle brag or two of an evening, vapor- 
ing out of a pipe, and going off in the morning; but 
now I have bid farewell to my " sweet enemy," Tobacco, 
J shall perhaps set nobly to work. Hang work ! 



COLLECTION OF LETTERS 21 

I wish that all the year were holiday ; I am sure that 
indolence — indefeasible indolence — is the true state 
of man, and business the invention of the old Teazer, 
whose interference doomed Adam to an apron and set 
him a hoeing. Pen and ink, and clerks and desks, were 5 
the refinements of this old torturer some thousand years 
after, under pretence of " Commerce allying distant 
shores, promoting and diffusing knowledge, good," 
etc. etc. 

I wish you may think this a handsome farewell to 10 
my "Friendly Traitress." Tobacco has been my 
evening comfort and my morning curse for these five 
years ; and you know how difficult it is from refraining 
to pick one's lips even, when it has become a habit. 
This poem is the only one which I have finished since 15 
so long as when I wrote " Hester Savory." I have had 
it in my head to do it these two years, but tobacco 
stood in its own light when it gave me headaches that 
prevented my singing its praises. Now you have 
got it, you have got all my store, for I have absolutely 20 
not another line. No more has Mary. We have no- 
body about us that cares for poetry ; and who will rear 
grapes when he shall be the sole eater? Perhaps if 
you encourage us to show you what we may write, 
we may do something now T and then before we ab- 25 
solutely forget the quantity of an English line for want 
of practice. The " Tobacco," being a little in the way 
of Wither ° (whom Sou they ° so much likes), perhaps 



22 COLLECTION OF LETTERS 

you will somehow convey it to him with my kind re- 
membrances. Then, everybody will have seen it that 
I wish to see it, I having sent it to Malta, 
I remain, dear W. and D., yours truly. 
s C. Lamb. 

(8) Charles Lamb to Robert Lloyd 

September 13, 1804. 

Dear Robert, — I was startled in a very pleasant 
manner by the contents of your letter. It was like 
your good self to take so handsome an opportunity of 

io renewing an old friendship. I thank you kindly for 
your offers to bring me acquainted with Mrs. LI. I 
cannot come now, but assuredly I will some time or 
other, to see how this new relation sits upon you. I 
am naturally shy of new faces ; but the Lady who has 

15 chosen my old friend Robert cannot have a repelling 
one. Assure her of my sincere congratulations and 
friendly feelings. Mary joins in both with me, and con- 
siders herself as only left out of your kind invitation 
by some Lapsus Styli.° We have already had all the 

20 holydays we can have this year. We have been spend- 
ing our usual summer month at Richmond, from which 
place we traced the banks of the old Thames for ten 
and twenty miles, in daily walks or rides, and found 
beauties which may compare with Llswater and 

25 Windermere. We visited Windsor, Hampton, etc. etc. 



COLLECTION OF LETTERS 23 

— but this is a deviation from the subject with which I 
began my letter. 

Some day I certainly shall come and see you in your 
new light ; no longer the restless (but good) ( ? single) 
Robert ; but now the staid, sober (and not less good) 5 
married Robert. And how does Plumstead, the im- 
petuous, take your getting the start of him? When 
will he subside into matrimony ? Priscilla has taken a 
long time indeed to think about it. I will suppose that 
her first choice is now her final ; though you do not 10 
expressly say that she is to be a Wordsworth. I wish 
her, and dare promise her, all happiness. 

All these new nuptials do not make me unquiet in the 
perpetual prospect of celibacy. There is a quiet dig- 
nity in old bachelorhood, a leisure from cares, noise, 15 
etc., an enthronisation upon the armed-chair of a man's 
feeling that he may sit, walk, read, unmolested, to 
none accountable — but hush ! or I shall be torn in 
pieces like a churlish Orpheus by young married women 
and bridesmaids of Birmingham. The close is this, 20 
to every man that way of life, which in his election 
is best. Be as happy in yours as I am determined to 
be in mine, and we shall strive lovingly who shall 
sing best the praises of matrimony, and the praises 
of singleness. 25 

Adieu, my old friend in a new character, and believe 
me that no "wounds" have pierced our friendship; 
only a long want of seeing each other has disfurnished 



24 COLLECTION OF LETTERS 

us of topics on which to talk. Is not your new for- 
tunes a topic which may hold us for some months (the 

honey months at least) ? 

C. Lamb. 

(9) To Thomas Carlyle from His Father a?id Mother 

5 Mainehill, 28th December, 1823. 

Dear Son — I have taken the pen in my hand to 
write a few lines to you to tell you how I come on, but 
indeed I, for some years, have written so little that I 
have almost forgotten it altogether, so I think you will 

io scarce can read it, but some says that anything can 
be read at Edinburgh, so I will try you with a few lines 
as is, and if it is not readable I will try to do better 
next time. 

I begin then with telling you the state of my own 

15 health, which I am glad to say is just as good as I 
could wish for at my time of life, though frailty and 
weakness which goeth along with old age° is clearly 
felt to increase; but what can I say? that is natural 
for all mankind. But I must not leave this subject 

20 that way, but tell you that I have not as yet taken the 
cold that I was troubled with in some former winters ; 
and that I can sleep sound at night and eat my meat 
and go about the town, and go to the meeting house 
on the Sabbath Day, so that I have no reason for com- 

25 plaint. I go on next to tell you about our Crop, which 



COLLECTION OF LETTERS 25 

doth not turn well out, but our Cattle is doing very 
well as yet, and we do not fear to meet the Landlord 
against the rent day. I was down at Eeclefechan 
this day, and was very glad to find a letter in the office 
from you, as we were beginning to look for one, and 5 
Sandy was preparing a letter for you, and we thought 
best to join our scrawls together. If there is any news, 
I leave that for Sandy to tell you all these things, and 
I will say no more at this time, but tell you that I re- 
main, dear son, your loving Father, 10 

Jas. Carlyle. 

Dear Tom — I need not tell you how glad I was to 
receive your kind letter, for I began to be uneasy. . . . 
O my dear Son, I have many mercies to be thankful 
for, and not the least of these is your affection. We 15 
are all longing for February, when we hope to see you 
here, if God will. Do spare us as much time as 
possible when you come down; in the meantime let 
us be hearing from you often. 

Your affectionate Mother, 2 ° 

Margaret Carlyle. 

(10) Thomas Gray to Horace Walpole 

I was hindered in my last, and so could not give you all 
the trouble I would have done. The description of a 
road, which your coach wheels have so often honoured, 



26 COLLECTION OF LETTERS 

it would be needless to give you; suffice it that I 
arrived safe at my uncle's, who is a great hunter in 
imagination ; his dogs take up every chair in the house, 
so I am forced to stand at this present writing. . . . 

5 He holds me mighty cheap, I perceive, for walking when 
I should ride, and reading when I should hunt. My 
comfort amidst all this is, that I have at the distance of 
half a mile, through a green lane, a forest (the vulgar 
call it a common) all my own,° at least as good as so, 

10 for I spy no human thing in it but myself. It is a little 
chaos of mountains and precipices; mountains, it is 
true, that do not ascend much above the clouds, nor 
are the declivities quite so amazing as Dover cliff; 
but just such hills as people who love their necks as 

15 well as I do may venture to climb, and craggs that 
give the eye as much pleasure as if they were more 
dangerous. Both vale and hill are covered with most 
venerable beeches, and other very reverend vegetables, 
that, like most other ancient people, are always dream- 

20 ing out their old stories to the winds, 

And as they bow, their hoary tops relate, 

In murmuring sounds, the dark decrees of fate ; 

While visions, as poetic eyes avow, 

Cling to each leaf and swarm on every bough. 

25 At the foot of one of these squats ME I (il penseroso) 
and there grow to the trunk for a whole morning. 
The timorous hare and sportive squirrel gambol around 



COLLECTION OF LETTERS 27 

me like Adam in paradise before he had an Eve ; but 
I think he did not use to read Virgil, as I commonly do 
there. In this situation I often converse with my 
Horace, aloud too, that is talk to you, but I do not 
remember that I ever heard you answer me. I beg 5 
pardon for taking all the conversation to myself, but 
it is entirely your own fault. ... I shall be in town 
in about three weeks. Adieu. 
September 1737. 



(11) Washington Irving to Mrs. Kennedy 

Sunny side, March 11, 1853. 10 

My dear Mrs. Kennedy : — I was really sad at 
heart at parting with you and Mary Kennedy at 
Washington. Indeed, had not your establishment 
fallen to pieces around me, I hardly know when I 
should have gotten away. I could almost have clung I5 
to the wreck so long as there was a three-legged stool 
and a horn spoon to make shift with. You see what 
danger there is in domesticating me. I am sadly 
prone to take root where I find myself happy. It was 
some consolation to me, in parting, that I had Mrs. 2 o 
H — and the gentle Horseshoe for fellow-travellers. 
Without their company, I should have been completely 
downhearted. The former was bright, intelligent, and 
amiable as usual; and as to " John," you know he is a 



28 COLLECTION OF LETTERS 

sympathizing soul. He saw I needed soothing, so he 
cracked some of his best jokes, and I was comforted. 

I arrived in New York too late for the Hudson River 
Railroad cars, so I had to remain in the city until 
5 morning. Yesterday I alighted at the station, within 
ten minutes' walk of home. The walk was along the 
railroad, in full sight of the house. I saw female 
forms in the porch, and I knew the spy-glass was in 
hand. In a moment there was a waving of handker- 

10 chiefs, and a hurrying hither and thither. Never did 
old bachelor come to such a loving home, so gladdened 
by blessed womankind. In fact, I doubt whether many 
married men receive such a heartfelt welcome. My 
friend Horseshoe, and one or two others of my acquaint- 

15 ance, may ; but there are not many as well off in 
domestic life as I. However, let me be humbly thank- 
ful, and repress all vain-glory. 

... I sallied forth to inspect my domains, wel- 
comed home by my prime minister, Robert, and my 

20 master of the horse, Thomas, and my keeper of the 
poultry yard, William. Everything was in good order ; 
all had been faithful in the discharge of their duties. 
My fields had been manured, my trees trimmed, the 
fences repaired and painted. I realty believe more 

25 had been done in my absence than would have been 
done had I been home. My horses were in good con- 
dition. Dandy and Billy, the coach-horses, were as 
sleek as seals. Gentleman Dick, my saddle-horse, 



COLLECTION OF LETTERS 29 

showed manifest pleasure at seeing me ; put his cheek 
against mine, laid his head on my shoulder, and would 
have nibbled at my ear had I permitted it. One of 
my Chinese geese was sitting on eggs ; the rest were 
sailing like frigates in the pond, with a whole fleet of 5 
white topknot ducks. The hens were vying with each 
other which could bring out the earliest brood of 
chickens. Taffy and Tony, two pet dogs of a dandy 
race, kept more for show than use, received me with 
well-bred though rather cool civility; while my little 10 
terrier slut Ginger bounded about me almost crazy 
with delight, having five little Gingers toddling at her 
heels, with which she had enriched me during my 
absence. 

I forbear to say anything about my cows, my durham 15 
heifer, or my pigeons, having gone as far with these 
rural matters as may be agreeable. Suffice it to say, 
everything was just as heart could wish; so, having 
visited every part of my empire, I settled down for 
the evening, in my elbow-chair, and entertained the 20 
family circle with all the w r onders I had seen at Wash- 
ington. 

To-day I have dropped back into all my old habits. 
... I have resumed my seat at the table in the 
study, where I am scribbling this letter, while an un- 25 
seasonable snow-storm is prevailing out of doors. 

This letter will no doubt find you once more at your 
happy home in Baltimore, all fussing and bustling at 



30 COLLECTION OF LETTERS 

an end, with time to nurse yourself, and get rid of that 
cold which has been hanging about you for so many 
days. 

And now let me express how much Lfeel obliged to 

5 you and Kennedy for drawing me forth out of my little 
country nest, and setting me once more in circulation. 
This has grown out of our fortunate meeting and 
sojourn together at Saratoga last summer, and I count 
these occurrences as among the most pleasant events 

ioof my life. They have brought me into domestic 
communion with yourselves, your family connections 
and dearest intimacies, and have opened to me a little 
world of friendship and kindness, in which I have en- 
joyed myself with a full heart. 

is God bless you all, and make you as happy as you 
delight to make others. 

Ever yours, most truly, 

Washington Irving. 

(12) Rossetti to His Mother 

Kelmscott, Lechlade, 27 March, 1873. 

20 My dearest Mother, — I hear with great anxiety 
from Maria that you have been suffering from an attack 
of influenza, and that you are still in bed. I hope 
Maria ° will continue to let me know regularly how you 
are. I trust, however, that the next news may be de- 

25 cidedly favorable. 



COLLECTION OF LETTERS 31 

The weather is very much finer here within some'da 
past, and I suppose the same is probably the case in 
London, so I heartily trust that this may have a benefi- 
cial effect upon a complaint like influenza. 

******* 

I am meaning to dedicate to you the new edition 5 
of my Italian Poets. The first was dedicated to poor 
Lizzy, and I had some thought of retaining the dedi- 
cation with date; but this seeming perhaps rather 
forced, I shall substitute your dear name in the second 
edition. 10 

Hoping to hear a better account soon, 
I am ever 

Your most loving Son, 

D. Gabriel R. 

P. S. — I must really tell you about Dizzy, George's ° 15 
dog. Some evenings back he was lying by the fire in my 
studio, when George, who was going to bed, roused him to 
accompany him, as he generally does. Dizzy however, 
w r as unwilling to quit the fire, and at last got so nasty 
and wicked that he bit George in the thumb. He was 20 
then locked up in the coldest place that could be found. 

In the morning he trotted into the breakfast room as 
usual, but was received with shouts of obloquy, upon 
which he turned tail at once and fled. At dinner the 
same day he reappeared ; whereupon we tied him to the 25 
leg of the piano and had in another dog who is here, 
called Turvy. We set a plate just out of Dizzy's reach 



32 COLLECTION OF LETTERS 

and fed Turvy with three successive helpings of beef 
and macaroni, between each of which Dizzy's feelings 
found vent in "voci alte e fioche." After this Turvy 
was much caressed, and every now and then left us, 
5 to walk round Dizzy and survey him as an accessory 
deserving of passing notice. Dizzy has been a convict 
ever since, and knows it. This morning, on entering 
the breakfast-room I found him rolled up on the mat 
before the fire, and, being occupied with other things, 

10 for the moment forgot his position. On my appearance 
he raised his head in doubt, but, when I sat down and 
said nothing, he let his head drop again on the mat 
with an air of luxurious relief. This served as a re- 
minder, and I shrieked, "What, not Dizzy!" in such 

15 tones that he arose and fled to the shades with an ex- 
pression of anguish which cannot be described. I think 
the ban will soon have to be taken off him now. At 
present the only relaxation is that he is allowed to ac- 
company us in our walks, but without recognition from 

20 us. One only has to show one's thumb to him, and 
his sins fall back on his head in a moment, and drive 
him into solitude. 

(13) Thomas Hughes to Alexander Macmillan 

October 29, 1892. 
Dear Mac, — Can't help beginning in the old style, 
25 tho' no doubt Mrs. Grundy would shake her head and 



COLLECTION OF LETTERS 33 

say " Silly old fellows of 70 to be talking to one another 
in endearing diminutives." Never mind. Blow Mrs. 
Grundy ! We didn't heed her much in the forties, and I 
have been strengthening in that unbelief ever since. 
What a wise old boy he was — Scotch wasn't he ? — 5 
who wrote up in stone letters over his front door " They 
say. What say they? Let them say." Well, but 
how are you ? And your wife and bairns ? And your 
roof-tree, and your oxen and asses, and all that is 
yours ? I haven't written these last months because ic 
I could see by the handwriting of your last how great an 
exertion it must be to you to answer, as I knew you 
would try to do (don't try again !) in your own hand, and 
you ought to make no exertion, but sit back easily in 
your big arm chair and think over no end of good times, 15 
and as well spent a life as all but prophets like Maurice ° 
can reckon over in this tough old world — and then too 
the dear prophet was quite unable to think of any 
good times he had ever had or good he had done, but 
only of the wretched mess the poor old world had 20 
blundered into, which he had been set specially to pull 
her out of and hadn't done it. So after all we are 
better off in our seventies than the prophets on this side 
the veil, however it may be on t'other. Good gracious, 
what a rigmarole I have been reeling out ! Fact is 25 
I've got a wonderful new pen discovered by one of my 
registrars, which runs along all by itself, and is more 
than half responsible. I don't mean to read it over, 



34 COLLECTION OF LETTERS 

but am sure it won't construe. The head-masters 
seem waking up to the need of teaching the dear boys 
who are coming on the English language ! More power 
to their elbows ! but I am too old to go to that school, 
5 and when the boys have all learned to write like Julius 
Hare ° or Matt. Arnold or Goldwin Smith, I doubt if 
they will make or play a better hand for the old country 
than our lot did who only learnt our English by hap- 
hazard. . . . Here is Carrie in for the third time since 

10 I started this to say tea is ready in the drawing-room, 
and that my commanding officer insists on my going 
in to partake of that meal and then to read Hole's ° 
Reminiscences aloud to her. Who is Hole ? We ought 
to have known him, as he seems a good broad Christian 

15 and manly fellow who ought to have published in Bed- 
ford Street. So good-bye; you are always in our 
minds, and would be even in the absence of the capital 
picture by dear old Lowes Dickinson which, thanks to 
you, hangs at the end of the dining-room. Love and 

20 all good wishes of Xmas and New Year from all of us 
to everybody. 

Ever affectionately yours, 

Thos. Hughes. 



II. Young People to their Elders 
(14) Louisa May Alcott to Her Father 

Boston, Nov. 29,° 1856. 

Dearest Father, — Your little parcel was very 
welcome to me as I sat alone in my room, with snow 
falling fast outside, and a few tears in (for birthdays 
are dismal times to me) ; and the fine letter, the pretty 5 
gift, and, most of all, the loving thought so kindly taken 
for your old absent daughter, made the cold, dark day 
as warm and bright as summer to me. 

And now, with the birthday pin upon my bosom, 
many thanks on my lips, and a whole heart full of love io 
for its giver, I will tell you a little about my doings, 
stupid as they will seem after your own grand proceed- 
ings. How I wish I could be with you, enjoying what I 
have always longed for, — fine people, fine amusements, 
and fine books. But as I can't, I am glad you are ; for 15 
I love to see your paper first among the lecturers, to 
hear it kindly spoken of in papers and inquired about by 
good people here, — to say nothing of the delight and 
pride I take in seeing you at last filling the place you 
are so fitted for, and which you have waited for so long 20 

35 



36 COLLECTION OF LETTERS 

and patiently. If the New Yorkers raise a statue to 
the modern Plato, it will be a wise and highly creditable 
action. 

1* »r* *|* 5jc jjc rjc 5j» 

I am very well and very happy. Things go smoothly, 
5 and I think I shall come out right, and prove that 
though an Alcott I can support myself. I like the in- 
dependent feeling ; and though not an easy life, it is a 
free one, and I enjoy it. I can't do much with my 
hands ; so I will make a battering-ram of my head and 

io make a way through this rough-and-tumble world. I 
have very pleasant lectures to amuse my evenings, — 
Professor Gajani on "Italian Reformers," the Mercan- 
tile Library course, Whipple, Beecher, and others, 
and, best of all, a free pass at the Boston Theatre. I 

15 saw Mr. Barry, and he gave it to me with many kind 
speeches, and promises to bring out the play very 
soon. I hope he will. 

My farce is in the hands of Mrs. W. H. Smith, who 
acts at Laura Keene's theatre in*New York. She took 

20 it, saying she would bring it out there. If you see or 
hear anything about it, let me know. I want some- 
thing doing. My mornings are spent in writing. C. 
takes one a month, and I am to see Mr. B., who may 
take some of my wares. 

2s In the afternoons I walk and visit my hundred rela- 
tions, who are all kind and friendly, and seem in- 
terested in our various successes. 



COLLECTION OF LETTERS 37 

Sunday evenings I go to Parker's parlor, and there 
meet Phillips, Garrison, Scherb, Sanborn, and many 
other pleasant people. All talk, and I sit in a corner 
listening, and wishing a certain placid gray-haired gentle- 
man was there talking too. Mrs. Parker calls on me, 5 
reads my stories, and is very good to me. Theodore 
asks Louisa "how her worthy parents do," and is other- 
wise very friendly to the large, bashful girl who adorns 
his parlor steadily. 

Abby° is preparing for a busy and, I hope, a profitable 10 
winter. She has music lessons already, French and 
drawing in store, and, if her eyes hold out, will keep 
her word and become what none of us can be, " an ac- 
complished Alcott." Now, dear Father, I shall hope 
to hear from you occasionally, and will gladly answer all 15 
epistles from the Plato whose parlor parish is becoming 
quite famous. I got the "Tribune," but not the letter, 
and shall look it up. I have been meaning to write, 
but did not know where you were. 

Good-bye, and a happy birthday from your ever 20 

loving child, 

Louisa. 

(15) Henry W. Longfellow to His Father 

December 5, 1824. 

I take this early opportunity to write to you, be- 
cause I wish to know T fully your inclination with regard 25 



38 COLLECTION OF LETTERS 

to the profession I am to pursue when I leave col- 
lege. 

For ray part, I have already hinted to you what would 
best please me. I want to spend one year at Cambridge 

5 for the purpose of reading history, and of becoming 
familiar with the best authors in polite literature; 
whilst at the same time I can be acquiring a knowledge 
of the Italian language, without an acquaintance w T ith 
which I shall be shut out from one of the most beautiful 

10 departments of letters. The French I mean to under- 
stand pretty thoroughly before I leave college. After 
leaving Cambridge, I would attach myself to some liter- 
ary periodical publication, by which I could maintain 
myself and still enjoy the advantages of reading. Now, 

15 1 do not think that there is anything visionary or 
chimerical in my plan thus far. The fact is — and I 
will not disguise it in the least, for I think I ought not — 
the fact is, I most eagerly aspire after future eminence 
in literature ; my whole soul burns most ardently for 

20 it, and every earthly thought centres in it. There 
may be something visionary in this, but I flatter myself 
that I have prudence enough to keep my enthusiasm 
from defeating its own object by too great haste. 
Surely, there never was a better opportunity offered 

25 for the exertion of literary talent in our own country 
than is now offered. To be sure, most of our literary 
men thus far have not been professedly so, until they 
have studied and entered the practice of Theology, 



COLLECTION OF LETTERS 39 

Law, or Medicine. But this is evidently lost time. I 
do believe that we ought to pay more attention to the 
opinion of philosophers, that "nothing but Nature 
can qualify a man for knowledge/ ' 

Whether Nature has given me any capacity for knowl- 5 
edge or not, she has at any rate given me a very strong 
predilection for literary pursuits, and I am almost con- 
fident in believing, that, if I can ever rise in the world, 
it must be by the exercise of my talent in the wide field 
of literature. With such a belief, I must say that I am 10 
unwilling to engage in the study of the law. 

Here, then, seems to be the starting point : and I 
think it best for me to float out into the world upon 
that tide and in that channel which will the soonest 
bring me to my destined port, and not to struggle is 
against both wind and tide, and by attempting what is 
impossible lose everything. 

(16) Helen Keller to John Greenleaf Whittier 

Inst, for the Blind, So. Boston, Mass., 

Nov. 27, 1889. 
Dear Poet, — I think you will be surprised to receive 20 
a letter from a little girl whom you do not know, but 
I thought you would be glad to hear that your beautiful 
poems make me very happy. Yesterday I read "In 
School Days" and "My Playmate," and I enjoyed them 
greatly. I was very sorry that the poor little girl 25 



40 COLLECTION OF LETTERS 

with the browns and the "tangled golden curls" died. 
It is very pleasant to live in our beautiful world. I 
cannot see the lovely things with my eyes, but my mind 
can see them all, and so I am joyful all the day long. 
5 When I walk out in my garden I cannot see the 
beautiful flowers but I know that they are all around 
me ; for is not the air sweet with their fragrance ? 
I know too that the tiny lily-bells are whispering 
pretty secrets to their companions else they would not 

iolook so happy. I love you very dearly, because you 
have taught me so many lovely things about flowers, 
and birds, and people. Now I must say, good-bye. 
I hope (you) will enjoy the Thanksgiving very much. 
From your loving little friend, 

15 Helen A. Keller. 

To Mr. John Greenleaf Whittier. 

(17) Helen Keller to Phillips Brooks 

Tuscumbia, Alabama, July 14, 1890. 

My dear Mr. Brooks, — I am very glad to write to 

you this beautiful day because you are my kind friend 

20 and I love you, and because I wish to know many 

things. I have been at home three weeks, and Oh, 

how happy I have been with dear mother and father 

and precious little sister. I was very, very sad to part 

with all of my friends in Boston, but I was so eager to 

25 see my baby sister I could hardly wait for the train 

to take me home. But I tried very hard to be patient 



COLLECTION OF LETTERS 41 

for teacher's sake. Mildred has grown much taller 
and stronger than she was when I went to Boston, and 
she is the sweetest and dearest child in the world. My 
parents were delighted to hear me speak, and I was 
overjoyed to give them such a happy surprise. I think s 
it is so pleasant to make everybody happy. Why 
does the dear Father in heaven think it best for us 
to have very great sorrow sometimes? I am always 
happy and so was Little Lord Fauntleroy, but dear 
little Jakey's life was full of sadness. God did not 10 
put the light in Jakey's eyes and he was blind, and his 
father was not gentle and loving. Do you think poor 
Jakey loved his Father in heaven more because his other 
father was unkind to him? How did God tell people 
that his home was in heaven? When people do very 15 
wrong and hurt animals and treat children unkindly 
God is grieved, but what will he do to them to teach 
them to be pitiful and loving ? I think he will tell them 
how dearly He loves them and that He wants them to 
be good and happy, and they will not wish to grieve 20 
their father who loves them so much, and they will want 
to please him in everything they do, so they will love 
each other and do good to everyone, and be kind to 
animals. 

Please tell me something that you know about God. 25 
It makes me happy to know much about my loving 
Father, who is good and wise. I hope you will write 
to your little friend when you have time. I should 



42 COLLECTION OF LETTERS 

like very much to see you to-day. Is the sun very hot 
in Boston now? this afternoon if it is cool enough I 
shall take Mildred for a ride on my donkey. Mr. 
Wade sent Neddy to me, and he is the prettiest donkey 
5 you can imagine. My great dog Lioness goes with 
us when we ride to protect us. Simpson, that is my 
brother, brought me some beautiful pond lilies yester- 
day — he is a very brother to me. 

Teacher sends you her kind remembrances, and 
10 father and mother also send their regards. 
From your loving little friend, 

Helen A. Keller. 

(18) Rossetti to Aunt Charlotte 

50 Charlotte Street, Sunday ? June, 1848. 

Dear Aunt Charlotte, — Ever since I received 
15 your last letter (which I fear is very long ago) I have 
kept it lying on my table as a memento. The fact is 
that I should have answered it long ago, had I not 
wished my answer to be accompanied by the poem 
which I enclose, and which wanted a few finishing 
20 touches. ... It is the one of my precious per- 
formances which is, I think, the most likely to please 
you as to style and subject. All the others are of course 
completely at your service, and shall be sent, if you so 
desire, immediately upon an intimation from you to 
25 that effect. I only refrain from doing so till then be- 



COLLECTION OF LETTERS 43 

cause I do not wish you to pay heavy postage for things 
of such a little value. I hope you will not be displeased 
at my adding that I should not wish the verses to be 
seen by any one but yourself, as I think an unpublished 
poet is always rather a ridiculous character to appears 
in before strangers. 

I continue going to the Life-school in Maddox Street, 
where I enjoy my studies much. During the day I 
paint at Mr. Brown's, who is an invaluable acquisition to 
me as regards the art, and moreover a most delightful 10 
friend. We are already quite confidential. His kind- 
ness, and the trouble he takes about me, are really 
astonishing; I cannot imagine what I have done to 
deserve them. Yesterday I showed him some of my 
poetical productions, which he seemed to like much, 15 
especially the one I send you. Indeed I think myself 
that it is perhaps the best thing as yet, being more 
simple and like nature. 

(19) Thomas Carlyle to His Mother 
Edinburgh, Wednesday evening, 

(December 1821.) 20 

My dear Mother. — I have but a few minutes to 
give you at present ; but here is a little sovereign, which 
I got a while ago, and must write three words along 



44 COLLECTION OF LETTERS 

with, ere I send it you. It is to keep the Fiend out 
of your Housewife (Hussy) in these hard times, and to 
get little odds and ends with in due time. If I were 
beside you, I should have to encounter no little moles- 

5 tation, before I could prevail upon you to accept this 
most small matter : but being at the safe distance of 
seventy miles, I fear it not. You would tell me I am 
poor and have so few myself of those coins. But I 
am going to have plenty by and by : and if I had but 

10 one, I do not see how I could purchase more enjoyment 
with it, than if I shared it with you. Be not in want 
of anything, I entreat you, that I can possibly get for 
you. It would be hard indeed, if in the autumn of a life, 
the spring and summer of which you have spent well, in 

15 taking care of us, we should know what could add to 
your frugal enjoyments, and not procure it. Ask me, 
ask me for something. 

I am very busy at present, as Alick° will tell you; 
and therefore moderately happy. If health were 

20 added. — But there is always some if. In fact, I 
ought not to complain, even on this latter score. I 
think I am at least where I icas, when you saw me : 
perhaps better on the whole ; and I hope frosty weather 
is coming, which will make me better still. The other 

25 day I saw one of my constant walks last summer; 
and I could not help accusing myself of ingratitude to 
the Giver of all good for the great recovery I have 
experienced since then. 



COLLECTION OF LETTERS 45 

I intend to labour as hard as possible throughout 
the winter, rinding nothing to be so useful for me every- 
way. I shall make occasional excursions into the 
country, by way of relaxation. I think of going to 
Kirkcaldy (whither I am bidden) for a day or two about 5 
Christmas : and I have a standing invitation, from a 
very excellent Mrs. Welsh, to go to Haddington, often, 
as if I were going home. This is very pleesant, as Ha'- 
bank ° said. 

My Father is to write me next time : and what 10 
hinders Mag and Mary° and James the Ploughman? 
I shall (be) very angry with them if they keep such 
silence. Tell them so, one and all. My love to Jean 
and Jenny : ° they cannot WTite, or they would. I 
long to hear of your own welfare, my dear Mother, 15 
particularly of your health, which costs me many a 
thought. 

I am always, your affectionate son, 

Thomas Carlyle. 



(20) Thomas Carlyle to His Mother 

3 Moray Street, Saturday, (May 1822?). 20 

My dear Mother — ... You will find here a bonnet 
of Imperial chip or Simple chip, or Real chip, or what- 
ever it is, which I hope will arrive safely and be found 
to suit you. I think it looks like your head. I wish 



46 COLLECTION OF LETTERS 

it were fifty times better for your sake : it would still 
be the most feeble testimony of what I owe to your 
kind affection, which has followed me unweariedly 
through good and evil fortune, soothing and sweetening 

5 all the days of my existence, and which I trust Provi- 
dence will yet long, long continue for a blessing to us 
both. 

I know you will fret about those things, and talk 
about expense and so forth. This is quite erroneous 

10 doctrine : the few shillings that serve to procure a lit- 
tle enjoyment to your frugal life are as mere nothing in 
the outlay of this luxurious city. If you want any other 
thing, I do beg you would let me know : there is not 
any way in which I can spend a portion of my earnings 

is so advantageously. Tell me honestly, Do you get 
tea and other things comfortably? I should be very 
sorry if you restricted yourself for any reason but from 
choice. It would be a fine thing surely, if you that have 
toiled for almost half a century in nourishing stalwart 

20 sons, should not now by this means have a little ease 
and comfort, when it lies in their power to gain it for 
you ! I again entreat you, if you wish for anything 
within the reach of my ability, to let me hear of it. 

I entrust you with my affectionate remembrances 

25 to my Father, and all the family, every one. They 

owe me letters now, which they cannot pay a minute 

too soon. Bid the Carrier be sure to ask for the box° 



COLLECTION OF LETTERS 47 

next time he comes ; it will be in readiness for him. At 
the present, I do not want anything. I shall give you 
proper notice when I do. 

Farewell, my dear Mother ! May all Good be with 
you always ! 

Your affectionate Son, 

Th. Carlyle. 



III. Grown People to Children 
(21) Phillips Brooks to His Niece 
Hotel du Nord, Berlin, September 10, 1882. 

My dear Gertie, — This is Sunday morning. It is 
just after breakfast, about a quarter before nine o'clock. 
In a shop window on this street, I see a great big clock 

5 every time I go out. It has seven faces, and each 
face tells what time it is in some one of the great cities 
of the world. The one in the middle tells what time it 
is in Berlin, and all around that are the other great 
cities ; it has not got North Andover, for that is too 

io small ; it is not one of the great cities of the world, 
but it has New York. Yesterday, as I passed it about 
one o'clock, I saw that it was about five in New York, 
so I know now that it cannot be quite three in North 
Andover. You will not go to church for a good while 

15 yet, so will have time enough to read my letter twice 
before you go. 

I came here last Wednesday, and am going to stay 
for some time. In fact, I feel as if I lived in Berlin. 
I send you a picture of the house, with a line drawn 

48 



COLLECTION OF LETTERS 49 

around my two windows. The children at the door are 
not you and Agnes. I wish they were. 

The children in Paris all wore blouses, and the 
children in Venice did not wear much of anything. 
Here they all wear satchels. I never saw such children 5 
for going to school. The streets are full of them, 
going or coming, all the time. They are queer little 
white-headed, blue-eyed things, many of them very 
pretty indeed, but they grow up into dreadful-looking 
men and women. They wear their satchels strapped 10 
on their backs like soldiers' knapsacks, and w T hen you 
see a schoolful of three hundred letting out, it is very 
funny. 

Only two houses up the street lives the Emperor. 
He and his wife are out of town now, or no doubt they 15 
would send some word to Toody. 

Affectionately your uncle, 

Phillips. 

(22) Phillips Brooks to His Niece 

Wittenberg, Sunday, September 24, 1882. 

My dear Agnes, — I was glad to get your letter, 20 
which reached me a few T days ago in Berlin. I think 
you were very good indeed to write me, and it was a 
nice letter. . . . 

Did you ever hear of Wittenberg? You will find it 
on the map, not very far from Berlin. It used to be a 25 

E 



50 COLLECTION OF LETTERS 

very famous place when Martin Luther lived here, and 
was preaching his sermons in the church whose clock 
I just now heard strike a quarter of one, and was writing 
his books in the room whose picture is at the top of 

5 this sheet of paper. I am sure you know all about 
Luther. If not, ask Toody, she knows most everything. 
In the picture, you can see Luther's table, the seat in 
the window where he and his wife used to sit and talk, 
the big stove which he had built to warm his cold room, 

10 and the bust of himself, which was taken just after he 
died, and hung up here. With the exception of that, 
everything remains just exactly as he left it, over three 
hundred years ago, before your papa, mamma, or aunt 
Susan was born. 

15 It is a queer old town. Just now, when it was twelve 
o'clock, I heard some music, and looked out and found 
that a band of music was playing psalm tunes away 
up in the air in the tower of the old parish church. 
My window looks out on the market-place, where 

20 there are two statues, one of Luther, and one of 
Melanchthon, who was a great friend of his. Gertie 
will tell you about him. And the houses are the 
funniest shape, and have curious mottoes carved or 
painted over their front door. I came here from Berlin 

25 yesterday, and am going to travel about in Germany 
for a few weeks, and then go back to Berlin again. 
Berlin is very nice. I wish I could tell you about 
a visit which I made, Friday, to one of the great public 



COLLECTION OF LETTERS 51 

schools, where I saw a thousand boys and a thousand 
girls, and the way they spelt the hard words in German 
would have frightened you to death. 

Tell Susie that I thank her for her beautiful little 
letter, and hope she will write me another. You must 5 
write me again. Give my best love to everybody, and 
do not forget your affectionate uncle. 

P. 

(23) Phillips Brooks to His Niece 

Grand Hotel, Vienna, November 19, 1882. 

Very private !! 10 

Dear Gertie, — This letter is an awful secret 
between you and me. If you tell anybody about it, 
I will not speak to you all this winter. And this is 
what it is about. You know Christmas is coming, and 
I am afraid that I shall not get home by that time, and 15 
so I want you to go and get the Christmas presents for 
the children. The grown people will not get any from 
me this year. But I do not want the children to go 
without, so you must find out, in the most secret way, 
just what Agnes and Toody would most like to have, 20 
and get it and put it in their stockings on Christmas Eve. 
Then you must ask yourself what you want, but without 
letting yourself know about it, and get it too, and put it 
in your own stocking, and be very much surprised 
when you find it there. And then you must sit down 25 



52 COLLECTION OF LETTERS 

and think about Josephine De Wolf and the other baby 
at Springfield whose name I do not know, and consider 
what they would like, and have it sent to them in time 
to reach them on Christmas Eve. Will you do all this 

5 for me ? You can spend five dollars for each child, and 
if you show your father this letter, he will give you the 
money out of some of mine which he has got. That 
rather breaks the secret, but you will want to consult 
your father and mother about what to get, especially 

io for the Springfield children; so you may tell them 
about it, but do not dare to let any of the children 
know of it until Christinas time. Then you can tell me 
in your Christmas letter just how you have managed 
about it all. . . . 

is This has taken up almost all my letter, and so I 
cannot tell you much about Vienna. Well, there is not 
a great deal to tell. It is an immense great city with 
very splendid houses and beautiful pictures and fine 
shops and handsome people. But I do not think the 

2oAustrians are nearly as nice as the ugly, honest 
Germans. Do you ? 

Perhaps you will get this on Thanksgiving Day. If 
you do, you must shake the turkey's paw for me, and 
tell him that I am very sorry I could not come this 

25 year, but I shall be there next year certain ! Give my 
love to all the children. I had a beautiful letter from 
aunt Susan the other day, which I am going to answer 
as soon as it stops raining. Tell her so, if you see her. 



COLLECTION OF LETTERS 53 

Be a good girl, and do not study too hard, and keep 

our secret. 

Your affectionate uncle, 

Phillips. 

(24) Phillips Brooks to His Niece 

Jeypore, January 7, 1883. 5 

My dear Gertie, — I wish you had been here with 
me yesterday. We would have had a beautiful time. 
You would have had to get up at five o'clock, for at 
six the carriage was at the door, and we had already 
had our breakfast. But in this country you do every- 10 
thing you can very early, so as to escape the hot sun. 
It is very hot in the middle of the day, but quite cold 
now at night and in the mornings and evenings. Well, 
as we drove into the town (for the bungalow where 
we are staying is just outside), the sun rose and the 15 
streets were full of light. 

The town is all painted pink, which makes it the 
queerest-looking place you ever saw, and on the out- 
sides of the pink houses there are pictures drawn, 
some of them very solemn and some very funny, which 20 
makes it very pleasant to drive up the street. We 
drove through the street, which was crowded with 
camels and elephants and donkeys, and women wrapped 
up like bundles, and men chattering like monkeys, 
and monkeys themselves, and naked little children 25 



54 COLLECTION OF LETTERS 

rolling in the dust, and playing queer Jeypore games. 
All the little girls, when they get to be about your age, 
hang jewels in their noses, and the women all have their 
noses looking beautiful in this way. I have got a nose 
5 jewel for you, which I shall put in when I get home, 
and also a little button for the side of Susie's nose, 
such as the smaller children wear. Think how the 
girls at school will admire you. 

Well, we drove out the other side of the queer pink 

10 town, and went on toward the old town, which they 
deserted a hundred years ago, w^hen they built this. 
The priest told the rajah, or king, that they ought not 
to live more than a thousand years in one place, and 
so, as the old town was about a thousand years old, the 

15 king left it ; and there it stands about five miles off, 
with only a few beggars and a lot of monkeys for in- 
habitants of its splendid palaces and temples. As we 
drove along toward it, the fields were full of peacocks 
and all sorts of bright-winged birds, and out of the 

20 ponds and streams the crocodiles stuck up their lazy 
heads and looked at us. 

The hills around are full of tigers and hyenas, but they 
do not come down to the town, though I saw a cage of 
them there which had been captured only about a 

25 month and were very fierce. Poor things ! When we 
came to the entrance of the old town, there was a splen- 
did great elephant waiting for us, which the rajah 
had sent. He sent the carriage, too. The elephant 



COLLECTION OF LETTERS 55 

had his head and trunk beautifully painted, and looked 
almost as big as Jumbo. He knelt down, and we 
climbed up by a ladder and sat upon his back, and then 
he toiled up the hill. I am afraid he thought Americans 
must be very heavy, and I do not know whether he 5 
could have carried you. Behind us, as we w T ent up 
the hill, came a man leading a little black goat, and when 
I asked what it was for, they said it was for sacrifice. 
It seems a horrid old goddess has a temple on the hill, 
and years ago they used to sacrifice men to her, to make 10 
her happy and kind. But a merciful rajah stopped 
that, and made them sacrifice goats instead, and now 
they give the horrid old goddess a goat every morning, 
and she likes it just as well. 

When we got into the old town, it was a perfect wilder- 15 
ness of beautiful things, — lakes, temples, palaces, 
porticos, all sorts of things in marble and fine stones, 
with sacred long-tailed monkeys running over all. 
But I must tell you all about the goddess, and the way 
they cut off the poor goat's little black head, and all 20 
the rest that I saw, when I get home. Don't you w T ish 
you had gone with me ? 

Give my love to your father and mother and Agnes 

and Susie. I am dying to know about your Christmas 

and the presents. Do not forget your affectionate 25 

uncle 

Phillips. 



56 COLLECTION OF LETTERS 



(25) Phillips Brooks to Ills Niece 

Westminster Palace Hotel, London, 
June 3, 1883. 

My dear Tood, — Your wicked papa has not sent 
me any letter this week, and so I am not going to 
5 write to him to-day, but I shall answer your beautiful 
letter, which traveled all the way to London, and was 
delivered here by a postman with a red coat, two or 
three weeks ago. He looked very proud when he came 
in, as if he knew that he had a beautiful letter in his 

io bundle, and all the people in the street stood aside to 
make way for him, so that Tood's letter might not be 
delayed. 

How quickly you have learned to read and write! 
I am very sorry for you, for they now will make you read 

15 and study a great many stupid books, and you will 
have to write letters all your days. When I get home, 
I am going to make you write my sermons for me, and 
I think of engaging you for my amanuensis at a salary 
of twenty cents a month, with which you can buy no 

20 end of gumdrops. If 3011 do not know w^hat an 
amanuensis is, ask Agnes, and tell her I will bring her a 
present if she can spell it right the first time. 

Poor little Gertie ! What a terrible time she has had. 
It must have been very good for her to have you to 

25 take care of her, and run her errands, and play with her, 



COLLECTION OF LETTERS 57 

and write her letters. I suppose that is the reason 
why vou hurried so and learned to write. It was a 
great pity that I never got her letter about the Christ- 
mas presents, but I am very glad that you liked the 
coupe. What do you want me to bring you home from 5 
London? Write me another letter and tell me, and 
tell Gertie I shall be very happy when I get another 
letter from her written with her own little fingers. 

I want to see your new house, wdiich I am sure will 
be very pretty. I wonder wdiere you are going to be 10 
this summer? Now, I am going off to preach in a 
queer old church built almost a thousand years ago, 
before your father or mother was born. Give my love 
to them, and to Agnes, and to Gertie, and to the new 



doll. 



15 
Your affectionate uncle, 

Phillips. 



(26) Tennyson to His Son, Hallam 

Tintagel, Aug. 25th, 1860. 

My dear Hallam, — I was very glad to receive 
your little letter. Mind that you and Lionel do not 20 
quarrel and vex poor mamma who has lots of work to 
do ; and learn your lessons regularly ; for gentlemen and 
ladies will not take you for a gentleman when you grow 
up if you are ignorant. Here are great black cliffs 
of slaterock, and deep, black caves, and the ruined 



58 COLLECTION OF LETTERS 

castle of King Arthur, and I wish that you and Lionel 
and mamma were here to see them. Give my love 
to grandpapa and to Lionel, and work well at your 
lessons. I shall be glad to find you know more and 
5 more every day. 

Your loving papa, 

A. Tennyson. 

(27) Thomas Carlyle to Little Jane Carlyle 

3 Moray Street, January (1822). 

Dear Little Jane, — Thou never wrotest me any 

io kind of letter, yet I would be glad to see one from thy 
hand. There is in that little body of thine as much wis- 
dom as ever inhabited so small a space ; besides thou art 
a true character, steel to the back, never told a lie, 
never flinched from telling truth; and for all these 

15 things I love thee, my little Jane, and wish thee many 
blithe new years from the bottom of my heart. 

Does the little creature ever make any rhymes now ? 
Can she write any? Is she at any school? Has she 
read the book we sent her ? Tell me all this — if 

20 thou hast power even to form strokes, that is, to go 
through the first elements of writing. I am living here 
in a great monster of a place, with towers and steeples, 
and grand houses all in rows, and coaches and cars 
and men and women by thousands, all very grand; 

25 but I never forget the good people at Mainhill — nor 



COLLECTION OF LETTERS 59 

thee, among the least in stature though not the least 

in worth. Write then if thou canst. I am very tired, 

but always thy affectionate Brother, 

Th. Carlyle. 

Give my compliments to Nimble, that worthiest of 5 
curs. Is Jamie Aitken with you still? I reckon him 
to be a worthy boy. 

(28) Lewis Carroll to Gertrude 

Christ Church, Oxford, October 13, 1875. 

My dear Gertrude, — I never give birthday 
presents, but you see I do sometimes write a birthday io 
letter: so, as I've just arrived here, I am writing this 
to wish you many and many a happy return of your 
birthday to-morrow. I will drink your health, if only 
I can remember, and if you don't mind — but perhaps 
you object ? You see, if I were to sit by you at break- 15 
fast, and to drink your tea, you wouldn't like that, 
would you ? You would say " Boo ! hoo ! Here's Mr. 
Dodgson's drunk all my tea, and I haven't got any 
left!" So I am very much afraid, next time Sybil 
looks for you, she'll find you sitting by the sad sea- 20 
wave, and crying " Boo ! hoo ! Here's Mr. Dodgson 
has drunk my health, and I haven't got any left!" 
And how it will puzzle Dr. Maund, when he is sent for 
to see you ! " My dear Madam, I'm very sorry to say 



60 COLLECTION OF LETTERS 

your little girl has got no health at all! I never saw such 
a thing in my life!" "Oh, I can easily explain it!" 
your mother will say. " You see she would go and make 
friends with a strange gentleman, and yesterday he 
5 drank her health!" "Well, Mrs. Chataway," he will 
say, "the only way to cure her is to wait till his next 
birthday, and then for her to drink his health." 

And then we shall have changed healths. I won- 
der how you'll like mine ! Oh, Gertrude, I wish you 
10 wouldn't talk such nonsense ! . . . 

Your loving friend, 

Lewis Carroll. 

(29) Lewis Carroll to Gertrude 

Christ Church, Oxford, Dec. 9, 1875. 

My dear Gertrude, — This reallv will not do, vou 

is know, sending one more kiss every time by post ; the 

parcel gets so heavy it is quite expensive. When the 

postman brought in the last letter, he looked quite 

grave. "Two pounds to pay, sir!" he said. "Extra 

weight, sir!" (I think he cheats a little, by the way. 

20 He often makes me pay two pounds, when I think it 

should be pence.) "Oh, if you please, Mr. Postman ! " 

I said, going down gracefully on one knee (I wish you 

could see me go down on one knee to a postman — it's 

a very pretty sight), "do excuse me just this once! 

25 It's only from a little girl !" 



COLLECTION OF LETTERS 61 

"Only from a little girl!" he growled. "What are 
little girls made of?" "Sugar and spice," I began to 
say, "and all that's ni — " but he interrupted me. 
" Xo ! I don't mean that. I mean, what's the good 
of little girls, when they send such heavy letters?" 5 
"Well, they're not much good, certainly," I said, rather 
sadly. 

"Mind you don't get any more such letters," he said, 
"at least, not from that particular little girl. I know 
her ivell, and she's a regular bad one /" That's not true, 10 
is it? I don't believe he ever saw you, and you're 
not a bad one, are you ? However, I promised him we 
would send each other very few more letters — " Only 
two thousand four hundred and seventy, or so," I said. 
" Oh ! " he said, " a little number like that doesn't signify. 15 
What I meant is, you mustn't send many.'" 

So you see we must keep count now, and when we 
get to two thousand four hundred and seventy, we 
mustn't write any more, unless the postman gives us 
leave. 20 

I sometimes wish I was back on the shore at San- 
down; don't you? 

Your loving friend, 

Lewis Carroll. 

Why is a pig that has lost its tail like a little girl 
on the seashore ? 

Because it says, "I should like another tale, 25 
please." 



62 COLLECTION OF LETTERS 

(30) Lewis Carroll to Ada° 

Christ Church, Oxford, March 3, 1880. 

My dear Ada, — (Isn't that your short name ? 
"Adelaide" is all very well, but you see when one is 
dreadfully busy one hasn't time to write such long 
5 words — particularly when it takes one half an hour to 
remember how to spell it — and even then one has to 
go and get a dictionary to see if one has spelt it right, 
and of course the dictionary is in another room, at 
the top of a high bookcase — where it has been for 

io months and months, and has got all covered with 
dust — so one has to get a duster first of all, and nearly 
choke oneself in dusting it — and when one has made 
out at last which is dictionary and which is dust, even 
then there's the job of remembering which end of the 

15 alphabet "A" comes — for one feels pretty certain it 
isn't in the middle — then one has to go and wash one's 
hands before turning over the leaves — for they've got 
so thick with dust one hardly knows them by sight — 
and, as likely as not, the soap is lost and the jug is 

20 empty, and there's no towel, and one has to spend 
hours and hours in finding things — and perhaps after 
all one has to go off to the shop to buy a new cake of 
soap — so, with all this bother, I hope you won't 
mind my writing it short and saying, "My dear 

25 Ada"). You said in your last letter you would like 



COLLECTION OF LETTERS 63 

a likeness of me : so here it is, and I hope you will 
like it — I won't forget to call the next time but one 
I'm in Wallington. 

Your very affectionate friend, 

Lewis Carroll. 



IV. » To Strangers 
(31) Harriet Beecher Stowe to Mrs. Foil en ° 

Andover, February 16. 

My dear Madam, — I hasten to reply to your letter, 
to me the more interesting that I have long been ac- 
quainted with you, and during all the nursery part of 
5 my life made daily use of your poems for children. 
I used to think sometimes in those days that I would 
write to you, and tell you how much I was obliged to 
you for the pleasure which they gave us all. 

So you want to know something about what sort of 
io a woman I am ! Well, if this is any object, you shall 
have statistics free of charge. To begin, then, I am a 
little bit of a woman, — somewhat more than forty, 
about as thin and dry as a pinch of snuff ; never very 
much to look at in my best days, and looking like a 
15 used-up article now. 

I was married when I was twenty-five years old to a 
man rich in Greek and Hebrew, Latin and Arabic, and, 
alas ! rich in nothing else. When I went to housekeep- 
ing, my entire stock of china for parlor and kitchen 

64 



COLLECTION OF LETTERS 65 

was bought for eleven dollars. That lasted very well 
for two years, till my brother was married and brought 
his bride to visit me. I then found, on review, that I 
had neither plates nor teacups to set a table for my 
father's family ; wherefore I thought it best to reinforce 5 
the establishment by getting me a tea-set that cost ten 
dollars more, and this, I believe, formed my whole stock 
in trade for some years. 

But then I was abundantly enriched with wealth of 
another sort. 10 

I had two little curly-headed twin daughters to begin 
with, and my stock in this line has gradually increased, 
till I have been the mother of seven children, the most 
beautiful and the most loved of whom lies buried near 
my Cincinnati residence. It was at his dying bed 15 
and at his grave that I learned what a poor slave mother 
may feel when her child is torn away from her. In 
those depths of sorrow T which seemed to me immeasur- 
able, it was my only prayer to God that such anguish 
might not be suffered in vain. There were circum- 20 
stances about his death of such peculiar bitterness, of 
what seemed almost cruel suffering, that I felt that I 
could never be consoled for it unless this crushing of 
my own heart might enable me to work out some great 
good to others. „ • . 25 

I allude to this here because I have often felt that 
much that is in that book (" Uncle Tom") had its root 
in the awful scenes and bitter sorrows of that summer. 
p 



66 COLLECTION OF LETTERS 

It has left now, I trust, no trace on my mind except 
a deep compassion for the sorrowful, especially for 
mothers who are separated from their children. 

During long years of struggling with poverty and 
s sickness, and a hot, debilitating climate, my children 
grew up around me. The nursery and the kitchen 
w^ere my principal fields of labor. Some of my friends, 
pitying my trials, copied and sent a number of little 
sketches from my pen to certain liberally paying "An- 

ionuals" with my name. With the first money that I 
earned in this way I bought a feather-bed ! for as I had 
married into poverty and without a dowry, and as my 
husband had only a large library of books and a great 
deal of learning, the bed and pillows were thought 

15 the most profitable investment. After this I thought 
that I had discovered the philosopher's stone. So 
when a new carpet or mattress was going to be needed, 
or when, at the close of the year, it began to be evident 
that my family accounts, like poor Dora's, " wouldn't 

20 add up," then I used to say to my faithful friend and 
factotum, Anna, who shared all my joys and sorrows, 
"Now, if you will keep the babies and attend to the 
things in the house for one day, I'll write a piece, and 
then we shall be out of the scrape." So I became an 

25 author, — very modest at first, I do assure you, and 
remonstrating very seriously with the friends who had 
thought it best to put my name to the pieces by way 
of getting up a reputation ; and if you ever see a wood- 



COLLECTION OF LETTERS 67 

cut of me, with an immoderately long nose, on the 
cover of all the U. S. Almanacs, I wish you to take 
notice that I have been forced into it contrary to my 
natural modesty by the imperative solicitations of my 
dear five thousand friends and the public generally. 5 
Ome thing I must say with regard to my life at the West, 
which you will understand better than many English 
women could. 

I lived two miles from the city of Cincinnati, in the 
country, and domestic service, not always you know to 10 
be found in the city, is next to an impossibility to obtain 
in the country, even by those who are willing to give 
the highest wages ; so what was to be expected for poor 
me, who had very little of this world's goods to offer? 

Had it not been for my inseparable friend, Anna, a is 
noble-hearted English girl, who landed on our shores 
in destitution and sorrow, and clave to me as Ruth to 
Naomi, I had never lived through all the trials which 
this uncertainty and want of domestic service imposed 
on both ; you may imagine, therefore, how glad I was 20 
when, our seminary property being divided out into small 
lots which were rented at a low price, a number of poor 
families settled in our vicinity, from whom we could 
occasionally obtain domestic service. About a dozen 
families of liberated slaves were among the number, 25 
and they became my favorite resort in cases of emer- 
gency. If anybody wishes to have a black face look 
handsome, let them be left, as I have been, in feeble 



68 COLLEGTION OF LETTERS 

health in oppressive hot weather, with a sick baby in 
arms, and two or three other little ones in the nursery, 
and not a servant in the whole house to do a single turn. 
Then, if they could see my good old x\unt Frankie 

5 coming with her honest, bluff, black face, her long, 
strong arms, her chest as big and stout as a barrel, and 
her hilarious, hearty laugh, perfectly delighted to 
take one's washing and do it at a fair price, they 
would appreciate the beauty of black people. 

10 My cook, poor Eliza Buck, — how she would stare 
to think of her name going to England ! — was a regu- 
lar epitome of slave life in herself; fat, gentle, easy, 
loving and lovable, always calling my very modest 
house and dooryard "The Place," as if it had been a 

15 plantation with seven hundred hands on it. She had 
lived through the whole sad story of a Virginia-raised 
slave's life. In her youth she must have been a very 
handsome mulatto girl. Her voice was sweet, and her 
manners refined and agreeable. She was raised in a 

20 good family as a nurse and seamstress. When the 
family became embarrassed, she was suddenly sold on 
to a plantation in Louisiana. She has often told me 
how, without any warning, she was suddenly forced 
into a carriage, and saw her little mistress screaming 

25 and stretching her arms from the window towards her 
as she was driven away. She has told me of scenes on 
the Louisiana plantation, and she has often been out 
at night by stealth ministering to poor slaves who had 



COLLECTION OF LETTER 69 

been mangled and lacerated by the lash. Hence she 
was sold into Kentucky. . . . Time would fail to tell 
you all that I learned incidentally of the slave system 
in the history of various slaves who came into my 
family, and of the underground railroad ° which, I may 5 
say, ran through our house. But the letter is already 
too long. 

You ask with regard to the remuneration which I 
have received for my work here in America. Having 
been poor all my life and expecting to be poor the rest 10 
of it, the idea of making money by a book which I 
wrote just because I could not help it never occurred 
to me. It was therefore an agreeable surprise to receive 
ten thousand dollars as the first-fruits of three months' 
sale. I presume as much more is now due. Mr. Bos- 15 
worth in England, the firm of Clarke & Co., and Mr. 
Bentley, have all offered me an interest in the sales of 
their editions in London. I am very glad of it, both 
on account of the value of what thev offer, and the value 
of the example they set in this matter, wherein I think 20 
that justice has been too little regarded. 

I have been invited to visit Scotland, and shall prob- 
ably spend the summer there and in England. 

I have very much at heart a design to erect in some 
of the Northern States a normal school for the education 25 
of colored teachers in the United States and in Canada. 
I have very much wished that some permanent 
memorial of good to the colored race might be created 



70 COLLECTION OF LETTERS 

out of the proceeds of a work which promises to have so 
unprecedented a sale. My own share of the profits 
will be less than that of the publishers, either English 
or American; but I am willing to give largely for 
5 this purpose, and I have no doubt that the publishers, 
both American and English, will unite with me; for 
nothing tends more immediately to the emancipa- 
tion of the slave than the education and elevation 
of the free. 

10 I am now writing a work which will contain, perhaps, 
an equal amount of matter with "Uncle Tom's Cabin." 
It will contain all the facts and documents on which that 
story was founded, and an immense body of facts, 
reports of trials, legal documents, and testimony of 

15 people now living South, which will more than confirm 
every statement in "Uncle Tom's Cabin." 

I must confess that till I began the examination of 
facts in order to write this book, much as I thought I 
knew before, I had not begun to measure the depth of 

20 the abyss. The law records of courts and judicial pro- 
ceedings are so incredible as to fill me with amazement 
whenever I think of them. It seems to me that the 
book cannot but be felt, and, coming upon the sensi- 
bility awaked by the other, do something. 

25 I suffer exquisitely in writing these things. It may 
be truly said that I write with my heart's blood. Many 
times in writing "Uncle's Tom's Cabin" I thought my 
health would fail utterly ; but I prayed earnestly that 



COLLECTION OF LETTERS 71 

God would help me till I got through, and still I am 
pressed beyond measure and above strength. 

This horror, this nightmare abomination ! can it be 
in my country ! It lies like lead on my heart, it shadows 
my life with sorrow ; the more so that I feel, as for my 5 
own brothers, for the South, and am pained by every 
horror I am obliged to write, as one who is forced by 
some awful oath to disclose in court some family dis- 
grace. Many times I have thought that I must die, 
and yet I pray God that I may live to see something 10 
done. I shall in all probability be in London in May : 
shall I see you ? 

It seems to me so odd and dream-like that so many 
persons desire to see me, and now I cannot help thinking 
that they will think, when they do, that God hath 15 
chosen "the weak things of this world.'' 

If I live till spring I shall hope to see Shakespeare's 

grave, and Milton's mulberry-tree, and the good land 

of my fathers, — old, old England ! May that day 

come ! m 20 

Yours affectionately, 

H. B. Stowe. 

(32) George Meredith to Alfred, Lord Tennyson 

Sir, — When I tell you that it would have been my 
chief ambition in publishing the little volume of poems 
you have received, to obtain your praise, you may 25 
imagine what pride and pleasure your letter gave me ; 



72 COLLECTION OF LETTERS 

though, indeed, I do not deserve so much as your 
generous appreciation would bestow, and of this I am 
very conscious. I had but counted twenty-three years 
when the book was published, which may account for, 
5 and excuse perhaps many of the immaturities. When 
you say you would like to know me, I can scarcely trust 
myself to express with how much delight I would wait 
upon you — a privilege I have long desired. As I 
suppose the number of poetic visits you receive are 

10 fully as troublesome as the books, I will not venture to 
call on you until you are able to make an appointment. 
My residence and address is Wey bridge, but I shall not 
return to Town from Southend before Friday week. 
If in the meantime you will fix any day following that 

15 date, I shall gladly avail myself of the honour of your 
invitation. My address here is care of Mrs. Peacock, 
Southend, Essex. I have the honour to be, most 

faithfully yours, 

George Meredith. 
20 Alfred Tennyson, Esq. 

(33) Thomas Henry Huxley to G S 

Hodelsea, Nov. 9, 1893. 

Sir, — We are all "ignoramuses" 3 more or less — 

and cannot reproach one another. If there were any 

sign of conceit in your letter, you would not get this. 

25 On the contrary, it pleases me. Your observations 



COLLECTION OF LETTERS 73 

are quite accurate and clearly described — ■ and to he 
accurate in observation and clear in description is the 
first step towards good scientific work. 

You are seeing just what the first workers with the 
microscope saw a couple of centuries ago. 5 

Get some such book as Carpenter's "On the Micro- 
scope" and you will see what it all means. 

Are there no science classes in Southampton ? There 
used to be, and I suppose is, a Hartley Institute. 

If you want to consult books you cannot otherwise 10 
obtain, take this to the librarian, give him my compli- 
ments, and say I should be very much obliged if he 
would help you. 

I am, yours very faithfully, 

T. H. Huxley. is 

(34) Thomas Carlyle to W. Lattimer ° 

The Grange, 15 Deer., 1853. 

Sir, — I myself hear nothing practical as yet about 
that cheap edition of my Book; and am inclined to 
think it may still be a year or two before any such edi- 
tion actually see the light. This is all the intelligence 20 
I can send you on that subject. 

As you seem to be a studious enquiring man, I will 
recommend you to read well what good Books you have 
at command, and to reckon always that reading well 
is greatly more important than reading much. Not to 25 



74 COLLECTION OF LETTERS 

say that the best wisdom, for every man, does not lie 
in Books at all, but in what conclusions he himself 
can form, and what just insight arrive at, from all 
manner of suggestions and helps, whereof Books are 
5 but one sort. 

With many kind wishes, I remain, 
Yours sincerely, 

T. Carlyle. 



V. Stirring Events 
(35) Jane Welsh Carlyle to Mrs. Welsh 

Chelsea : Sept. 5, 1836. 

My dear Aunt, — Now that I am fairly settled at 
home again, and can look back over my late travels 
with the coolness of a spectator, it seems to me that 
I must have tired out all men, women, and children 5 
that have had to do with me by the road. The prov- 
erb says 'there is much ado when cadgers ride.' I do 
not know~ precisely what ' cadger' means, but I imagine 
it to be a character like me, liable to headache, to sea- 
sickness, to all the infirmities 'that flesh is heir to,' 10 
and a few others besides ; the friends and relations of 
cadgers should therefore use all soft persuasions to 
induce them to remain at home. 

I got into that Mail the other night with as much 
repugnance and trepidation as if it had been a Phalaris' 15 
brazen bull, instead of a Christian vehicle, invented for 
purposes of mercy — not of cruelty. There were three 
besides myself when we started, but two dropped off 
at the end of the first stage, and the rest of the way I 
had, as usual, half of the coach to myself. My fellow- 20 

75 



76 COLLECTION OF LETTERS 

passenger had that highest of all terrestrial qualities, 
which for me a fellow-passenger can possess — he was 
silent. I think his name was Roscoe, and he read 
sundry long papers to himself, with the pondering air 
5 of a lawyer. 

We breakfasted at Lichfield, at five in the morning, 
on muddy coffee and scorched toast, which made me 
once more lyrically recognise in my heart (not without 
a sigh of regret) the very different coffee and toast 

iowith which you helped me out of my headache. At 
two there was another stop of ten minutes, that might 
be employed in lunching or otherwise. Feeling my- 
self more fevered than hungry, I determined on spend- 
ing the time in combing my hair and washing my face 

15 and hands with vinegar. In the midst of this solacing 
operation I heard what seemed to be the Mail running 
its rapid course, and quick as lightning it flashed on 
me, ' There it goes ! and my luggage is on the top of 
it, and my purse is in the pocket of it, and here am I 

20 stranded on an unknown beach, without so much as 
a sixpence in my pocket to pay for the vinegar I have 
already consumed ! ' Without my bonnet, my hair 
hanging down my back, my face half dried, and the 
towel, with which I was drying it, firm grasped in my 

25 hand, I dashed out — along, down, opening wrong 
doors, stumbling over steps, cursing the day I was 
born, still more the day on which I took a notion to 
travel, and arrived finally at the bar of the Inn, in a 



COLLECTION OF LETTERS 77 

state of excitement bordering on lunacy. The bar- 
maids looked at me 'with weender and amazement.' 
'Is the coach gone? 5 I gasped out. 'The coach? 
Yes ! ' ' Oh ! and you have let it away without me ! 
Oh ! stop it, cannot you stop it ? ' and out I rushed into 5 
the street, with streaming hah* and streaming towel, 
and almost brained myself against — the Mail ! which 
was standing there in all stillness, without so much 
as horses in it ! What I had heard was a heavy coach. 
And now, having descended like a maniac, I ascended 10 
again like a fool, and dried the other half of my face, 
and put on my bonnet, and came back 'a sadder and 
a wiser' woman. 

I did not find my husband at the 'Swan with Two 
Necks' ; for we were in a quarter of an hour before the 15 
appointed time. So I had my luggage put on the backs 
of two porters, and walked on to Cheapside, where I 
presently found a Chelsea omnibus. By and by, 
however, the omnibus stopped, and amid cries of 'No 
room, sir,' 'Can't get in,' Carlyle's face, beautifully 20 
set off by a broad-brimmed white hat, gazed in at the 
door, like the Peri, who ' at the Gate of Heaven, stood 
disconsolate.' In hurrying along the Strand, pretty 
sure of being too late, amidst all the imaginable and 
unimaginable phenomena which the immense thor-2s 
oughfare of a street presents, his eye (Heaven bless 
the mark !) had lighted on my trunk perched on the 
top of the omnibus, and had recognised it. This seems 



78 COLLECTION OF LETTERS 

to me one of the most indubitable proofs of genius 
which he ever manifested. Happily, a passenger went 
out a little further on, and then he got in. 

My brother-in-law had gone two days before, so 

5 my arrival was most well-timed. I found all at home 
right and tight; my maid seems to have conducted 
herself quite handsomely in my absence; my best 
room looked really inviting. A bust of Shelley (a 
present from Leigh Hunt), and a fine print of Albert 

10 Diirer, handsomely framed (also a present), had still 
further ornamented it during my absence. I also 
found (for I wish to tell you all my satisfaction) every 
grate in the house furnished with a supply of coloured 
clippings, and the holes in the stair-carpet all darned, 

15 so that it looks like new. They gave me tea and fried 
bacon, and staved off my headache as well as might be. 
They were very kind to me, but, on my life, every- 
body is kind to me, and to a degree that fills me with 
admiration. I feel so strong a wish to make you all 

20 convinced how very deeply I feel your kindness, and just 

the more I would say, the less able I am to say anything. 

God bless you all. Love to all, from the head of the 

house down to Johnny. 

Your affectionate, 
2S Jane W. Carlyle. 



COLLECTION OF LETTERS 79 



(36) Jane Welsh Carlyle to John Welsh, Esq. 

Chelsea : July 18, 1843. 

Dearest, dear only Uncle of me, — I would give 
a crown that you could see me at this moment through 
a powerful telescope ! You would laugh for the next 
twelve hours. I am doing the rural after a fashion so 5 
entirely my own ! To escape from the abominable 
paint-smell, and the infernal noise within doors, I 
have erected, w T ith my own hands, a gipsy-tent in the 
garden, constructed with clothes lines, long poles, 
and an old brown floor cloth ! under which remarkable 10 
shade I sit in an arm-chair at a small round table, 
with a hearth rug for carpet under my feet, writing- 
materials, sewing-materials, and a mind superior to 
Fate! 

The only drawback to this retreat is its being ex- 15 
posed to ' the envy of surrounding nations ' ; so many 
heads peer out on me from all the windows of the Row, 
eager to penetrate my meaning ! If I had a speaking 
trumpet I would address them once for all : — ' Ladies 
and Gentlemen, — I am not here to enter my individual 20 
protest against the progress of civilisation ! nor yet to 
mock you with an Arcadian felicity, which you have 
neither the taste nor the ingenuity to make your own ! 
but simply to enjoy Nature according to ability, and 
to get out of the smell of new paint ! So, pray you, 25 



80 COLLECTION OF LETTERS 

leave me to pursue my innocent avocations in the 
modest seclusion which I covet ! ' 

Not to represent my contrivance as too perfect, I 
must also tell you that a strong puff of wind is apt to 
5 blow down the poles, and then the whole tent falls 
down on my head ! This has happened once already 
since I began to write, but an instant puts it all to 
rights again. Indeed, without counteracting the in- 
doors influences by all lawful means, I could not stay 

10 here at present without injury to my health, which is 
at no time of the strongest. Our house has for a 
fortnight back been a house possessed by seven devils ! 
a painter, two carpenters, a paper-hanger, two non- 
descript apprentice-lads, and 'a spy'; all playing the 

15 devil to the utmost of their powers ; hurrying and 
scurrying 'upstairs, downstairs, and in my lady's 
chamber ! ' affording the liveliest image of a sacked 
city! 

When they rush in at six of the morning, and spread 

20 themselves over the premises, I instantly jump out of 
bed, and 'in wera desperation' take a shower bath. 
Then such a long day to be virtuous in ! I make chair 
and sofa covers ; write letters to my friends ; scold the 
workpeople, and suggest improved methods of doing 

25 things. And when I go to bed at night I have to leave 
both windows of my room wide open (and plenty of 
ladders lying quite handy underneath), that I may not, 
as old Sterling predicted, ' awake dead ' of the paint. . 



COLLECTION OF LETTERS 81 

The first night that I lay down in this open state of 
things, I recollebted Jeannie's house-breaker adven- 
ture last year, and, not wishing that all the thieves w r ho 
might w T alk in at my open windows should take me 
quite unprepared, I laid my policeman's rattle and my 5 
dagger on the spare pillow, and then I went to sleep 
quite secure. But it is to be confidently expected 
that, in a week or more, things will begin to subside 
into their normal state ; and meamvhile it were absurd 
to expect that any sort of revolution can be accom- 10 
plished. There ! the tent has been down on the top of 
me again, but it has only upset the ink. 

Jeannie appears to be earthquaking with like energy 
in Maryland Street, but finds time to write me nice 
long letters nevertheless, and even to make the loveliest 15 
pincushion for my birthday ; and my birthday w r as cele- 
brated also with the arrival of a hamper, into which I 
have not yet penetrated. Accept kisses ad infinitum 
for your kind thought of me, dearest uncle. I hope to 
drink your health many times in the Madeira when 1 20 
have Carlyle with me again to give an air of respecta- 
bility to the act. Nay, on that evening when it came 
to hand, I was feeling so sad and dreary over the con- 
trast between this Fourteenth of July — alone, in a 
house like a sacked city, and other Fourteenths that 25 
I can never forget, that I hesitated whether or no to 
get myself a bottle of the Madeira there and then, and 
try for once in my life the hitherto unknowm comfort 

G 



82 COLLECTION OF LETTERS 

of being dead drunk. But my sense of the respectable 
overcame the temptation. 

My husband has now left his Welshman, and is gone 
for a little while to visit the Bishop of St. David's. 

5 Then he purposes crossing over somehow to Liverpool, 
and, after a brief benediction to Jeannie, passing into 
Annandale. He has suffered unutterable things in 
Wales from the want of any adequate supply of tea ! 
For the rest, his visit appears to have been pretty 

10 successful ; plenty of sea-bathing; plenty of riding 
on horseback, and of lying under trees ! I wonder it 
never enters his head to lie under the walnut-tree here 
at home. It is a tree ! leaves as green as any leaves 
can be, even in South W T ales ! but it were too easy to 

is repose under that : if one had to travel a long journey 

by railway to it, then indeed it might be worth while ! 

But I have no more time for scribbling just now; 

besides, my pen is positively declining to act. So, 

God bless you, dear, and all of them. 

20 Ever your affectionate, 

Jane Carlyle. 

(37) Jane Welsh Carlyle to Thomas Carlyle 

T. Carlyle, Linlathen, Dundee 
5 Cheyne Row : Friday night, July 24, 1852. 
Oh, my ! I wonder if I shall hear to-morrow morn- 
ing, and what I shall hear! Perhaps that somebody 



COLLECTION OF LETTERS 83 

drove you wild with snoring, and that you killed him 
and threw him in the sea ! Had the boatmen upset 
the boat on the way back, and drowned little Nero 
and me, on purpose, I could hardly have taken it ill. 
of them, seeing they * were but men, of like passions s 
with yourself.' But on the contrary, they behaved 
most civilly to us, offered to land us at any pier we 
liked, and said not a word to me about the sixpence, 
so I gave it to them as a free gift. We came straight 
home in the steamer, where Nero went immediately 10 
to sleep, and I to work. 

Miss Wilson called in the afternoon, extremely 
agreeable; and after tea Ballantyne came, and soon 
after Kingsley. Ballantyne gave me ten pounds, and 
Kingsley told me about his wife — that she was ' the 15 
adorablest wife man ever had ! ' Neither of these men 
stayed long. I went to bed at eleven, fell asleep at 
three, and rose at six. The two plumbers were rush- 
ing about the kitchen with boiling lead ; an additional 
carpenter was waiting for my directions about ' the 20 
cupboard' at the bottom of the kitchen stair. The 
two usual carpenters were hammering at the floor and 
windows of the drawing-room. The bricklayer rushed 
in, in plain clothes, measured the windows for stone 
sills (?), rushed out again, and came no more that day. 25 
After breakfast I fell to clearing out the front bedroom 
for the bricklayers, removing everything into your 
room. When I had just finished, a wild-looking 



84 COLLECTION OF LETTERS 

stranger, with a paper cap, rushed up the stairs, three 
steps at a time, and told me he was ' sent by Mr. Mor- 
gan to get on with the painting of Mr. Carlyle's bed- 
room during his absence ! ' I was so taken by surprise 
5 that I did not feel at first to have any choice in the 
matter, and told him he must wait two hours till all 
that furniture was taken — somewhere. 

Then I came in mind that the window and doors 
had to be repaired, and a little later that the floor was 

10 to be taken up ! Being desirous, however, not to 
refuse the good the gods had provided me, I told the 
man he might begin to paint in my bedroom ; but there 
also some woodwork was unfinished. 

The carpenters thought they could get it read}' by 

15 next morning. So I next cleared myself a road into 
your bedroom, and fell to moving all the things of 
mine up there also. Certainly no lady in London did 
such a hard day's work. Not a soul came to interrupt 
me till night, when stalked in for half-an-hour, 

20 uncommonly dull. 'It must have taken a great deal 
to make a man so dull as that ! ' I never went out till 
ten at night, when I took a turn or two on Battersea 
Bridge, without having my throat cut. 

My attempts at sleeping last night were even more 

25 futile than the preceding one. A dog howled re- 
peatedly, near hand, ki that awful manner which is 
understood to prognosticate death, which, together 
with being 'in a new position/ kept me awake till five. 



COLLECTION OF LETTERS 85 

And after six it was impossible to lie, for the plumbers 
were in the garret, and the bricklayers in the front 
bedroom ! Mr. Morgan came after breakfast, and 
settled to take up the floor in your bedroom at once. 
So to-day all the things have had to be moved out 5 
again down to my bedroom, and the painter put off ; 
and to-night I am to ' pursue sleep under difficulties ' 
in my own bed again. They got on fast enough with 
the destructive part. The chimney is down and your 
floor half off ! 10 

After tea I 'cleaned myself,' and walked up to see 
Miss Farrar. She and her sister were picnicking at 
Hampton Court; but the old mother was V£iy glad 
of me, walked half-way back with me, and gave me 
ice at Gunter's in passing. I am to have a dinner-tea 15 

with them next Wednesdav. And to-morrow I am 

t/ 

to give the last sitting for my picture, and take tea at 
Mrs. Sketchley's. And now I must go to bed again 
— more's the pity. 

I shall leave this open, in case of a letter from you 20 
in the morning. 

Saturday. 

Thanks God ° too for some four hours of sleep last 
night. I don't mind the uproar a bit now that you are 
out of it. 25 

Love to Mr. Erskine ; tell him to write to me. 

Ever yours. 

J. w. c. 



86 COLLECTION OF LETTERS 

(38) Jane Welsh Carlyle to Thomas Carlyle 
To T. Carlyle, Chelsea 

Moffat House ° : Friday, July 8, 1853. 

And my letter must be in the Post-Office before one 
o'clock ! ' Very absurd ! ' ° And I have had to go to 
Beattock ° in the omnibus with my cousin Helen to see 

5 her off for Glasgow, and am so tired ! Don't wonder 
then if you get a 'John's letter' ° from me also. 

The most important thing I have to tell you is, that 
you could not know me here, as I sit, from a Red- 
Indian ! That I was kept awake the first night after 

io my arrival by a — hyaena ! (Yes, upon my honour ; 
and you complain of a simple cock !) And that yes- 
terday I was as near as possible to giving occasion for 
the most romantic paragraph, of the 'melancholy 
accident' nature, that has appeared in any newspaper 

15 for some years ! 

But, first, of the hyaena. On my arrival I found 
an immense caravan of wild beasts, pitched exactly 
in front of this house; and they went on their way 
during the night, and the animal in question made a 

20 devil of a row. I thought it was the lion roaring; 
but John said ' No, it was only the hyaena ! ' I rather 
enjoyed the oddness of having fled into the country for 
'quiet,' and being kept awake by wild beasts! 

Well, having got no sleep the first night, owing to 



COLLECTION OF LETTERS 87 

these beasts, and my faceache, I felt bothered all 
Wednesday, and gladly accepted John's offer to tell 
you of my safe arrival, meaning to write myself yes- 
terday. But it was settled that we should go yester- 
day to see St. Mary's Lock, and the Grey-Mare's 5 
Tail. We started at nine of the morning in an open 
carriage, 'the Doctor,' and Phcebe ° — a tall red- 
haired young woman, with a hoarse voice, who is here 
on a visit (' the bridesmaid ' she was) ; my cousin 
Helen, one little boy, and myself : the other two boys 10 
preceding us on horseback. It was the loveliest of 
days; and beautifuller scenery I never beheld. Be- 
sides that, it was full of tender interest for me as the 
birthplace of my mother. No pursuit of the pictur- 
esque had ever gone better with me till on the way 15 
back, when we stopped to take a nearer inspection of 
the Tail. The boys had been left fishing in the Loch 
of the Lows. John and Miss Hutchison had gone 
over the hills by another road to look at Loch Skene, 
and were to meet us at the Tail ; so there were only 20 
Phoebe, Helen, and I as we went up to the Tail from 
underneath. 

We went on together to the customary point of view, 
and then I scrambled on by myself (that is, with 
Nero °), from my habitual tendency to go a little fur- 25 
ther alw T ays than the rest. Nero grew quite fright- 
ened, and pressed against my legs ; and when we came 
close in front of the waterfall, he stretched his neck 



88 COLLECTION OF LETTERS 

out at it from under my petticoats, and then barked 
furiously. Just then, I saw John waving his hat to me 
from the top of the hill ; and, excited by the grandeur 
of the scene, I quite forgot how old I was, how out of 

5 the practice of ' speeling rocks ' ; and quite forgot, too, 
that John had made me take the night before a double 
dose of morphia, which was still in my head, making 
it very light ; and I began to climb up the precipice ! 
For a little way I got on well enough ; but when I dis- 

10 covered that I was climbing up a ridge ( !), that the 
precipice was not only behind but on both sides of me, 
I grew, for the first time in my life that I remember 
of, frightened, physically frightened ; I was not only 
afraid of falling down, but of losing my head to the 

15 extent of throwing myself down. To go back on my 
hands and knees as I had come up was impossible ; 
my only chance was to look at the grass under my face, 
and toil on till John should see me. I tried to call to 
him, but my tongue stuck fast and dry to the roof of 

20 my mouth; Nero barking with terror, and keeping 
close to my head, still further confused me. John 
had meanwhile been descending the hill ; and holding 
by the grass, we reached one another. He said, * Hold 
on; don't give way to panic! I will stand between 

25 you and everything short of death/ We had now got 
off the ridge, on to the slope of the hill ; but it was so 
steep that, in the panic I had taken, my danger was 
extreme for the next quarter of an hour. The bed of 



COLLECTION OF LETTERS 89 

a torrent, visible up there, had been for a long time 
the object of my desire; I thought I should stick 
faster there, than on the grassy slope with the preci- 
pice at the bottom of it; but John called to me that 
'if I got among those stones I should roll to perdition.' 5 
He was very kind, encouraging me all he could, but 
no other assistance was possible. In my life I was 
never so thankful as when I found myself at the bot- 
tom of that hill with a glass of water to drink. None 
of them knew the horrors I had suffered, for I made 10 
no screaming or crying ; but my face, they said, was 
purple all over, with a large black spot under each 
eye. And to-day I still retain something of the same 
complexion, and I am all of a tremble, as if I had been 
on the rack. 15 

It is a lovely place this, and a charming old-fash- 
ioned house, with ' grounds ' at the back. It is com- 
fortably but plainly and old-fashionedly furnished, 
looks as if it had been stripped of all its ornamental 
details, and just the necessaries left. There is a cook, 20 
housemaid, and lady's maid, and everything goes on 
very nicely. The three boys are as clever, well- 
behaved boys as I ever saw, and seem excessively fond 
of 'the Doctor.' John is as kind as kind can be, and 
seems to have an excellent gift of making his guests 25 
comfortable. Phoebe's manner is so different from 
mine, so formal and cold, that I don't feel at ease with 
her yet. She looks to me like a woman who had been 



90 COLLECTION OF LETTERS 

all her life made the first person with those she lived 
beside, and to feel herself in a false position when she 
doubts her superiority being recognised. She seems very 
content with John, however, and to suit him entirely. 
5 My hand shakes so, you must excuse illegibility. 
I don't know yet when I am to go to Scotsbrig. 
(No room to sign.) 

(39) Thomas Carlyle to His Brother 

Cheyne Row, Chelsea, London, 
23rd March, 1835. 

io My dear Brother, — Your Letter came in this 
morning (after sixteen days from Rome) ; and, to- 
morrow, being post-day, I have shoved my writing- 
table into the corner, and sit (with my back to the fire 
and Jane, who is busy sewing at my old jupe of a 

is Dressing-gown), forthwith making answer. It was 
somewhat longed for; yet I felt, in other respects, 
that it was better you had not written sooner ; for I 
had a thing to dilate upon, of a most ravelled charac- 
ter, that was better to be knit up a little first. You 

20 shall hear. But do not be alarmed ; for it is " neither 
death nor men's lives" : we are all well, and I heard 
out of Annandale within these three weeks, nay, 
Jane's Newspaper came with the customary "two 
strokes," only five days ago. I meant to write to our 

25 Mother last night ; but shall now do it to-morrow. 



COLLECTION OF LETTERS 91 

Mill ° had borrowed that first volume of my poor 
French Revolution ° (pieces of it more than once) that he 
might have it all before him, and write down some 
observations on it, which perhaps I might print as 
Notes. I was busy meanwhile with Volume Second ; 5 
toiling along like a Nigger, but with the heart of a 
free Roman : indeed, I know not how it was, I had not 
felt so clear and independent, sure of myself and of 
my task for many long years. Well, one night about 
three weeks ago, we sat at tea, and Mill's short rap to 
was heard at the door : Jane rose to welcome him ; 
but he stood there unresponsive, pale, the very pic- 
ture of despair; said, half -articulately gasping, that 
she must go down and speak to "Mrs. Taylor/' 
After some considerable additional gasping, I learned 15 
from Mill this fact : that my poor Manuscript, all 
except some four tattered leaves, was annihilated: 
He had left it out (too carelessly) ; it had been taken 
for waste-paper : and so five months of as tough labor 
as I could remember of, were as good as vanished, 20 
gone like a whifT of smoke. — There never in my life 
had come upon me any other accident of so much 
moment ; but this I could not but feel to be a sore one. 
The thing was lost, and perhaps worse ; for I had not 
only forgotten all the structure of it, but the spirit 25 
it was w T ritten with was pas+; only the general im- 
pression seemed to remain, and the recollection that 
I was on the whole well satisfied with that, and could 



92 COLLECTION OF LETTERS 

now hardly hope to equal it. Mill whom I had to 
comfort and speak peace to remained injudiciously 
enough till almost midnight, and my poor Dame and 
I had to sit talking of indifferent matters; and could 
5 not till then get our lament freely uttered. She was 
very good to me; and the thing did not beat us. I 
felt in general that I was as a little schoolboy, w T ho 
had laboriously written out his Copy as he could, 
and was showing it not without satisfaction to the 

10 Master : but lo ! the Master had suddenly torn it, 
saying: "No, boy, thou must go and write it better." 
What could I do but sorrowing go and try to obey. 
That night was a hard one; something from time to 
time tying me tight as it were all round the region of 

15 the heart, and strange dreams haunting me : however, 
I was not without good thoughts too that came like 
healing life into me; and I got it somewhat reason- 
ably crushed down, not abolished, yet subjected to me 
with the resolution and prophecy of abolishing. Next 

20 morning accordingly I wrote to Fraser (who had 
advertised the book as "preparing for publication") 
that it was all gone back; that he must not speak of 
it to any one (till it was made good again) ; finally 
that he must send me some better paper, and also a 

25 Biographie Universelle, for I was determined to risk 
ten pounds more upon it. Poor Fraser was very assid- 
uous : I got bookshelves put up (for the whole House 
was flowing with Books), where the Biographie (not 



COLLECTIOX OF LETTERS 93 

Fraser's, however, which was countermanded, but 
Mill's), with much else stands all ready, much readier 
than before : and so, having first finished out the piece 
I was actually upon, I began again at the beginning. 
Early the day after to-morrow (after a hard and quite 5 
novel kind of battle) I count on having the First Chap- 
ter on paper a second time, no worse than It was, 
though considerably different. The bitterness of the 
business is past therefore ; and you must conceive me 
toiling along in that new way for many weeks to come. 10 
As for Mill I must yet tell you the best side of him. 
Next day after the accident he writes me a passionate 
letter requesting with boundless earnestness to be 
allowed to make the loss good as far as money was 
concerned in it. I answered : Yes, since he so desired 15 
it ; for in our circumstances it was not unreasonable : 
in about a week he accordingly transmits me a draft 
for £200; I had computed that my five months' 
housekeeping, etc., had cost me £100; which sum 
therefore and not two hundred was the one, I told 20 
him, I could take. He has been here since then ; but 
has not sent the £100, though I suppose he will soon 
do it, and so the thing w411 end, — more handsomely 
than one could have expected. I ought to draw from 
it various practical "uses of improvement" (among 25 
others not to lend manuscripts again) ; and above all 
things try to do the work better than it was ; in which 
case I shall never grudge the labor, but reckon it a 



94 COLLECTION OF LETTERS 

goodhap. *— It really seemed to me a Book of consid- 
erable significance; and not unlikely even to be of 
some interest at present: but that latter, and indeed 
all economical and other the like considerations had 
5 become profoundly indifferent to me; I felt that I 
was honestly writing down and delineating a World- 
Fact (which the Almighty had brought to pass in the 
world) ; that it was an honest work for me, and all 
men might do and say of it simply what seemed good 

10 to them — Nay I have got back my spirits again (after 
this first Chapter), and hope I shall go on tolerably. 
I will struggle assiduously to be done with it by the 
time you are to be looked for (which meeting may God 
bring happily to pass) ; and in that case I will cheer- 

i S fully throw the business down awhile, and walk off 
with you to Scotland ; hoping to be ready for the next 
publishing season. — This is my ravelled concern, 
dear Jack; which you see is in the way to knit itself 
up again, before I am called to tell you of it. And 

20 now for something else. I was for writing to you of it 
next day after it happened : but Jane suggested, it 
would only grieve you, till I could say it was in the 
way towards adjustment; which counsel I saw to be 
right. Let us hope assuredly that the whole will be 

25 for good. . . . Good night, dear Brother ! 

Ever yours ! 



COLLECTION OF LETTERS 95 

(40) William Hickli?ig Prescott to His Wife 

" I was at Lawrence's, at one, in my costume : a 
chapeau with gold lace, blue coat, and white trousers, 
begilded with buttons and metal, — a sword and 
patent leather boots. I was a figure indeed ! But 
I had enough to keep me in countenance. I spent an 5 
hour yesterday with Lady M. getting instructions for 
demeaning myself. The greatest danger was that I 
should be tripped up by my own sword. . . . The 
company were at length permitted one by one to pass 
into the presence chamber — a room with a throne 10 
and gorgeous canopy at the farther end, before which 
stood the little Queen of the mighty Isle and her Con- 
sort, surrounded by her ladies-in-waiting. She w T as 
rather simply dressed, but he was in a Field Marshal's 
uniform, and covered, I should think, with all the 15 
orders of Europe. He is a good-looking person,, but 
by no means so good-looking as the portraits of him. 
The Queen is better-looking than you might expect. 
I was presented by our Minister, according to the 
directions of the Chamberlain, as the historian of 20 
Ferdinand and Isabella, in due form — and made my 
profound obeisance to her Majesty, who made a very 
dignified curtesy, as she made to some two hundred 
others who were presented in like manner. I made the 
same low bow to his Princeship to whom I was also 25 
presented, and so bowed myself out of the royal circle, 



96 COLLECTION OF LETTERS 

without my sword tripping up the heels of my nobility. 

. . . Lord Carlisle . . . said he had come to the 
. drawing-room to see how I got through the affair, 

which be thought I did without any embarrassment. 
5 Indeed, to say truth, I have been more embarrassed a 

hundred times in my life than I was here. I don't 

know why; I suppose because I am getting old." 

(41) Horace Walpole to Horace Mann ° 

Arlington Street, Feb. 18, 1778. 
I do not . know how to word the following letter ; 

io how to gain credit with you ! How shall I intimate to 
you, that you must lower your topsails, waive your 
imperial dignity, and strike to the colors of the thir- 
teen United Provinces of America? Do not tremble, 
and imagine that Washington has defeated General 

15 Howe, and driven him out of Philadelphia ; or that 
Gates has taken another army ; or that Portsmouth 
is invested by an American fleet. No : no military 
new event has occasioned this revolution. The sacri- 
fice has been made on the altar of Peace. Stop again : 

20 peace is not made, it is only implored, — and, I fear, 
only on this side of the Atlantic. In short, yesterday, 
February 17th, a most memorable era, Lord North 
opened his Conciliatory Plan, — no partial, no collu- 
sive one. In as few words as I can use, it solicits 

25 peace with the States of America ; it haggles on no 



COLLECTION OF LETTERS 97 

terms ; it acknowledges the Congress, or anybody 
that pleases to treat; it confesses errors, misinforma- 
tion, ill-success, and impossibility of conquest; it 
disclaims taxation, desires commerce, hopes for assist- 
ance, allows the independence of America, not ver- 5 
bally, yet virtually, and suspends hostilities till June, 
1779. It does a little more : not verbally, but virtually, 
it confesses that the Opposition have been in the right 
from the beginning to the end. 

The w T armest American cannot deny but these gra- 10 
cious condescensions are ample enough to content that 
whole continent; and vet, my friend, such accommo- 
dating facility had one defect, — it came too late. 
The treaty between the high and mighty States and 
France is signed ; and instead of peace, we must expect 15 
war with the high allies. The French army is come 
to the coast, and their officers here are recalled. 

The House of Commons embraced the plan, and 
voted it, nemine contradiccntc. It is to pass both 
Houses with a rapidity that will do everything but 20 
overtake time past. All the world is in astonishment. 
As my letter will not set out till day after to-morrow, 
I shall have time to tell you better what is thought of 
this amazing step. 

Feb. 20. 25 

In sooth I cannot tell you what is thought. Nobody 
knows what to think. To leap at once from an obsti- 
nacy of four years to a total concession of everything ; 
u 



98 COLLECTION OF LETTERS 

to stoop so low, without hopes of being forgiven — 
who can understand such a transformation? I must 
leave you in all your wonderment ; for the cloud is not 
dispersed. When it shall be, I doubt it will discover 
5 no serene prospect! All that remains certain is, that 
America is not only lost but given up. We must no 
longer give ourselves Continental airs ! I fear even 
our trident will find it has lost a considerable prong. 
I have lived long, but never saw such a day as last 

10 Tuesday ! From the first, I augured ill of this Ameri- 
can war ; yet do not suppose that I boast of my pene- 
tration. Far was I from expecting such a conclusion. 
Conclusion ! — y sommes nous ? ° Acts of Parliament 
have made a war, but cannot repeal one. They have 

is provoked — not terrified ; and Washington and Gates 
respected the Speaker's mace° no more than Oliver 
Cromwell did. 

You shall hear as events arise. I disclaim all 
sagacity, and pretend to no foresight. It is not an 

20 Englishman's talent. Even the second sight of the 
Scots has proved a little purblind. 

Have you heard that Voltaire is actually in Paris? 
Perhaps soon you will learn French news earlier than 
I can.° 

25 What scenes my letters to you have touched on for 
eight-and-thirty years ! I arrived here at the eve of 
the termination of my father's happy reign. The 
Rebellion, as he foresaw, followed; and much dis- 



COLLECTION OF LETTERS 99 

grace. Another war ensued, with new disgraces. 
And then broke forth Lord Chatham's sun ; and all 
was glory and extensive empire, nor tranquillity nor 
triumph are our lot now ! . . . I shall probably write 
again before you have digested half the meditations this s 
letter will have conjured up. 

(42) Horace Walpole to Horace Mann 

March 17, 1778. 

I have scarce a moment's time to write, and it is 
only — what an only ! — to tell you that the French 
Ambassador notified to Lord Weymouth on Friday, io 
that his Court had concluded a treaty of commerce 
and amity with the independent States of America; 
but had had the attention not to make it an exclusive 
treaty : so, we may trade with America, if America will 
condescend to trade with us. I doubt there were 15 
some words of France not being disposed to be molested 
in their commerce with their new friends. In conse- 
quence of that declaration, Lord Stormont's recall was 
sent off that night. To-day the Ministers are to ac- 
quaint both Houses with the insult ; and, I suppose, 20 
intend to be addressed with vows of support. The 
Stocks, not being members of Parliament, do not vote 
for war, nor behave like heroes. Alas ! I am ashamed 
of irony. Neither do I love to send my auguries 
through every post-house. However, every one must 25 



100 COLLECTION* OF LETTERS 

know that a French war is not exactly a compensation 

for the loss of America. We, the herd, the Achivi, must 
. take the beverage our rulers brew for us ; and we that 

can, must console ourselves with not having contributed 
5 to the potion. I believe it will be a bitter one ; but I 

should be still less tranquil if I had furnished a drop. 
******* 

Europe is going again to be a theatre of blood, as 
America has been. The Emperor and Prussia are 
going, I think have begun a war ! 'Tis endless to 

io moralise ; human life is forced to do so, but en pure 
perte. The system changes, not the consequences. 
Force was the first arbitress of human affairs. The 
shrewd observed, that Art could counteract and con- 
trol Strength — and for a long time Policy ruled. But, 

15 Policy having exhausted all its resources, and having 
been detected in them all, Impudence restored Force, 
which is now sole governess. She seized and shared 
Poland, and now sets up the same right to Bavaria. 
We tried the plan in America, but forgot we had not 

20 that essential to the new jus gentium, an hundred 
thousand men, and that our Bavaria was on t'other 
side of the Atlantic. I hope the ocean, that was 
against us there, will be our friend at home ! 

Adieu ! This is a new chapter in our correspond- 

25 ence. I will write as events rise ; you must excuse 
me if I have not always time, as I have not at present, 
to make my letters long in proportion to the matter. 



COLLECTION OF LETTERS 101 

(43) Horace Walpole to Sir Horace Mann 

Berkeley Square, 
Monday evening, Dec. 2, 1782. 

The day that I little expected to live to see, is 
arrived ! Peace came this morning : thank God ! 
That is the first thought : the effusion of human gore 5 
is stopped, nor are there to be more widows and 
orphans out of the common course of things. 

What the terms are will be known before this goes 
away to-morrow: they may be public already; but 
here am I, lying upon a couch and not out of pain, io 
waiting with patience for what I shall learn from the 
few charitable that I am able to admit. Proud con- 
ditions I, nor even you in your representative dignity, 
can expect. Should they be humiliating, they ought 
to answer who plunged us into a quadruple war, and 15 
managed it deplorably for seven years together! 

As I have not breath to dictate much, I shall not 
waste myself on a single reflection : but in truth I am 
very low ; and what are all the great and little affairs 
of the world to me, who am mouldering away, not 20 
imperceptibly ! . . . 

Friday night, the 6th. 

I was much too ill on Tuesday to finish this, and, 
besides that, recollected that whatever was to be 
heard you would learn from Paris sooner than from 25 
London. I began to write upon the first buzz of the 



102 COLLECTION OF LETTERS 

courier being arrived; but all he brought was the 
Provisional treaty with America, which too is not to 
take place till the General Peace does. This, however, 
we are told to expect soon — and there I must leave 

5 peace and war, kingdoms and states, and trust to your 
nephew for saying anything else; for in truth I am 
not able. The scale of life and death has been vibrat- 
ing ; I believe it is turned to the former. I have had 
two very good nights, and the progress of the gout 

10 seems quite stopped; but I am exceedingly low and 
weak, and it will take me some time to recover : but 
I assure you, my dear Sir, you may be easy. I have 
now a good opinion of myself, and I have spoken so 
plainly that you may believe me. 

is Adieu ! You shall hear again soon, unless I see your 
nephew, whom I will desire to give you a more par- 
ticular account. 



VI. Sketches from Many Lands 

(44) Phillips Brooks to His Brother 

Cassel, Germany, 
Monday evening, October 9, 1865. 

My dear William, — Just before I left Frankfort- 
on-the-Main to-day, I went to the bankers' and found 
there your good letter of September 22. It was my 5 
company on a lovely ride up the country to this queer 
old German town, whence I answer it from the dining- 
room of the Romlicher Kaiser hotel. A thousand 
thanks for it. I shall not write so good a one, but I 
will try to tell you what I have been doing in a very 10 
busy week since I wrote to mother last Monday night 
from Bonn. I left there by the Rhine boat and landed 
first at Kaiserwinter, on the right bank at the foot of 
the Drachenf els ; climbed that hill and saw one of the 
loveliest views in the world from the old castle at its 15 
top. We went up through vineyards and looked 
down on the Rhine winding past the Seven Mountains 
ever so far towards the sea. Kaiserwinter is a charm- 
ing little German village, and on my return from the 

103 



104 COLLECTION OF LETTERS 

hill I heard the bells chiming, and stopped to ask what 
it meant. I was told it was a "Fest" or village feast, 
and so roamed into the village to see it. It was the 
most perfect German picture. The young men of the 

5 village were firing at a mark in a little wine garden, 
and all the hamlet were gathered to drink the new 
wine and look at them. By and by the bird was shot 
down, and the man who shot it down was thereby 
king of the Feast. He had the privilege of choosing 

10 the prettiest girl in town for the queen, and then, with 
a rustic band of music, the procession, headed by the 
king and queen, marched through the old streets and 
called on all the gentry, who treated them and gave 
them contributions for a feast, to which they all re- 

15 turned in the garden. Here they made merry through 
the afternoon, and closed all with a dance. It was 
just like a German story book. 

Juch-he, juch-he, juch-heise. heise, he, 
So ging der fiedelbogen. 

20 Think of being at a dance of German peasants on 
the Rhine ! From here I took boat again, and sailing 
down past vine-covered hills topped with ruined 
castles, I came to Coblentz. Here I stopped again 
and climbed to the Castle of Ehrenbreitstein, where 

25 was another view of the Rhine and the Moselle, which 
flows into it just here. Then the boat again, past the 
great Castle of Stolzenfels and countless others, one 



COLLECTION OF LETTERS 105 

on almost every height, till we came to St. Goar, the 
most delightful little village on the left bank. Here 
another stop, and then on through the region of the 
choicest vineyards to Mayence, the quaintest of old 
fortified towns. You have no idea of the beauty of 5 
this river from Bonn to Mayence. I think we have 
rivers whose scenery by nature is as fine, but the 
castles and ruins have grown to be a part of the nature, 
and are not separable from it, and the soft October 
air and sunlight of those days showed everything at 10 
its utmost beauty. The trees were gorgeous in color 
with not a leaf fallen, and the vineyards climbing the 
hills, and perching on every inch of ground that faced 
the southern sun, were very interesting. 

From Mayence I went to Worms, where Luther 15 
dared the Diet ; then to Mannheim, and so to Heidel- 
berg. Of all beautiful places this is the most perfect. 
It lies along the Neckar, and is overlooked everywhere 
by the noblest of old ruined castles. Here is one of the 
great universities which I went to see. The boys 20 
looked pretty much like Cambridge juniors, except 
where here and there you see one with his face all 
slashed up from a duel. Let us be thankful Cambridge 
has not got to that. 

From here I went up to Weisbaden, one of the great 25 
watering and gambling places, a splendid German 
Saratoga. It was in full blast, and I saw the roulette 
and rouge-et-noir tables in the gorgeous saloons crowded 



106 COLLECTION OF LETTERS 

day and night. At night, a great free concert by a 
splendid band, and illumination of the beautiful 
grounds. It was a strange sight. Then to Frankfort, 
where I spent Sunday at the Hotel de Russie. It is 
5 a fine town, part of it very old and quaint, part very 
new and fine ; there are some good pictures, some good 
statuary, and an old cathedral, where I went and heard 
a German sermon and some splendid German music. 
Goethe was born here, and his house still stands. 

10 To-day, I came from Frankfort here, through one of 
the richest historic regions of all Germany. This is 
another of those old towns to which I am getting very 
used, and which delight me more and more. I like 
the Germans immensely. They are frank, kind, 

15 sociable, and hearty. They give you an idea of a 
people with ever so much yet to do in the world, 
capable of much fresh thought and action. Their 
language is like them, noble, vigorous, and simple. 
I am getting hold of it very well. They think for 

20 themselves and unselfishly, and they believe in 
America. Their peasants are poor, but seem in- 
telligent, and their better classes have the most 
charming civility. I have seen more pretty women 
than I saw in all England, and I have not seen the 

25 best of Germany. I am impatient to get to Han- 
over, and Berlin, and Dresden, where one sees the 
finest specimens. 

Here, then, you have another week's biography. 



COLLECTION OF LETTERS 107 

Is it not full enough ? My next will be from Dresden. 
I shall spend all this month in Germany, and about the 
first of November leave Vienna for the East. I am 
splendidly well and happy all the time, but very often, 
to-night, for instance, I would like to look in upon you 5 
all at home, and tell and hear a thousand things that 
will not go on paper. As to money, you will get two 
drafts, one in London and one in Cologne. These 
currencies with their perpetual changes are great 
nuisances. First, in Belgium, it was francs and cen-10 
times; then, in Holland, thalers and groschen; then, 
in Prussia, florins and kreutzers ; and now back to 
thalers and groschen again. 

I received a weekly "Herald" to-day ; many thanks. 
Send one once in a while, say once a month, for the 15 
only paper on the Continent that pretends to give 
American news is the London " Times." 

It is two months to-day since I sailed. How they 
have gone ! And to me they have been the fullest 
months of my life. Not a day without something 20 
that I have longed to see all my life. So it will go on 
till I see the sight that I shall be most glad of all to see, 
you and father waiting on the wharf to see me land, 
as you came down before to see me sail. 

Good-by ; love in lots to father and mother, and 25 
Arthur and John and Trip, and Fred when you write. 
God bless you all. 

Phill. 



108 COLLECTION OF LETTERS 



(45) Phillips Brooks to His Brother 

Florence, Hotel de PArno, 
April 8, 1866. 

Dear William, — Here I am in my third day at 
Florence. Before I begin to rave about the city, I 
5 will tell you how I came here. When I wrote to John, 
I was in the midst of Holy Week at Rome. Many of 
its services, such as the washing of feet and tending 
on table by the Pope, were disagreeable and fatiguing. 
But three things stand out in my recollection as very 

io fine and impressive. One was the Miserere in the 
Sistine Chapel ° on Thursday evening, by far the most 
sublime and affecting sacred music I ever heard. The 
dim chapel, dusky old frescoes, and splendid presence 
joined with the wonderful music to make it very im- 

15 pressive. Then the great Papal Benediction on Easter 
Day at noon, from the balcony of St. Peter's, the vast 
piazza crowded full, the peasants from all the sur- 
rounding country in their strange dresses, the gorgeous 
background of soldiery, the perfect stillness, and the 

20 voice of the old man ringing out his blessing over them 
all. It was one of the sights of a lifetime. Third, 
the illumination of St. Peter's at night was magnificent. 
Every line of the majestic dome bursting out in fire, 
the whole standing as if it were the fiery dome that 

25 Michael Angelo conceived and tried to build. 



COLLECTION OF LETTERS 109 

Besides these, the moment in the Easter service 
was very solemn when the Host was elevated, the silver 
trumpets sounded in the dome, and the whole vast 
audience fell on their knees. Romanism certainly 
succeeds in being very striking in some of its demon- 5 
strations. Unfortunately, Easter Monday was a 
windy day, and the great fireworks had to be put off, 
so that I did not see them. 

It was hard to leave dear old Rome ; I had learned 
to love it, and hated to go away. My six weeks 10 
there will always be a treasure to me. I know it 
through and through, but it makes me sorry to think 
that I shall never see it again. I left on Tuesday 
morning by rail for Terni, where I stopped over night 
and went to see the famous falls. They are made 15 
falls, but very beautiful, with more variety of sur- 
face and effect, I think, than any cataract I know. 
Wednesday by rail to Foligno, and thence by Vittoria 
to Perugia, stopping at Assisi, where is one of the most 
interesting old churches of all Italy, built in honor of 20 
St. Francis, who was hermit here. It is rich in the 
pictures of Cimabue, and Giotto, the first of modern 
painters, — founders of modern painting. 

Perugia is a dear old town, full of pictures of Peru- 
gino, Raphael's master. Thursday by Vittoria and rail 25 
to Florence, passing lake Trasimeno, where Hannibal 
gave the Romans such a whipping. Of Florence I 
cannot speak yet, though I have had two great days 



110 COLLECTION OF LETTERS 

here. Think of one room in the Uffizi Palace con- 
taining the Venus de Medici (I don't like her, she is 
too little, physically, morally, and mentally), three 
Raphaels, two Titians, one Michael Angelo, and lots 
5 besides, and that will give you, when you multiply it 
by fifty or a hundred, some idea of what is waiting for 
you to see here at Florence. Go to the Athenseum 
and look at Michael Angelo's Night and Morning. 
They are here in solemn marble, over the Medicis' 

iotomb in St. Lorenzo church. Yesterday I went up 
to Fiesole, and looked down on this perfect valley with 
its beautiful town, and this morning I climbed to the 
top of Giotto's Campanile in the great cathedral 
square, and saw the city from there. To-morrow I 

15 am going down to Pisa to see if that tower really leans, 
as Woodbridge's Geography said, and after spending 
the week here, I shall be off for Bologna and Venice. 
I wonder sometimes that one does not tire of the very 
excess of interest and beauty, but the constant change 

20 is a constant impulse, and I am fresher for enjoying 
things to-day than I was when I first set foot at Queens- 
town. 

On arriving here, I found yours of March 20; it 
seems as if I were almost at home to get such recent 

25 dates. Now I shall hear regularly every week. Four 
weeks from to-day I shall be in Paris. By the way, 
where are your commissions for the centre of fash- 
ions ? What number gloves do you wear ? I am glad 



COLLECTION OF LETTERS 111 

you think I am economical. I perpetrated one or two 
extravagances at Rome, a bronze, etc. I saw Miss 
Foley in Rome and liked her exceedingly; she gave 
me some pretty photographs of some of her things, 
which you will find with those which I sent in John's 5 
letter. I have met friends here who were large pur- 
chasers, with whose boxes my modest bundles could be 
easily and cheaply packed. 

Now, a commission for you. I want a copy of Mr. 
Sumner's speech on the Representation amendment 10 
in pamphlet. I must have it. If you cannot get it 
any other way, do write to him direct, and ask for it. 
I am anxious to have it for a particular reason. The 
Freedmen's Union have asked me to go to London to 
the anniversary meetings in May to enlighten John 15 
Bull's Emancipation League. . . . Good-by, I am 
perfectly well, and, as you see, perfectly happy. Love 
to all. Affectionately, 

Phillips. 

(46) Elizabeth Barrett Browning to Miss Mitford 

Bagni di Lucca, Toscana : (about July, 1849). 20 

At last, you will say, dearest friend. The truth is, 
I have not been forgetting you (how far from that !) 
but wandering in search of cool air and a cool bough 
among all the olive trees to build our summer nest on. 
My husband has been suffering beyond what one could 25 



112 COLLECTION OF LETTERS 

shut one's eyes to in consequence of the great mental 
shock of last March — loss of appetite, loss of sleep, 
looks quite worn and altered. His spirits never ral- 
lied except with an effort, and every letter from New 

5 Cross threw him back into deep depressions. I was 
very anxious, and feared much that the end of it all (the 
intense heat of Florence assisting) would be a nervous 
fever or something similar. And I had the greatest 
difficulty in persuading him to leave Florence for a 

10 month or two — he, who generally delights so in travel- 
ling, had no mind for change or movement. I had to 
say and swear that baby° and I couldn't bear the heat, 
and that we must and would go away. Ce que femme 
veut y ° if the latter is at all reasonable, or the former 

15 persevering. At last I gained the victory. It was 
agreed that we two should go on an exploring journey 
to find out where we could have most shadow at least 
expense ; and we left our child with his nurse and Wil- 
son while we were absent. We went along the coast 

20 to Spezzia, saw Carrara with the white marble moun- 
tains, passed through the olive forests and the vine- 
yards, avenues of acacia trees, chestnut woods, glo- 
rious surprises of most exquisite scenery. I say olive 
forests advisedly ; the olive grows like a forest tree in 

25 those regions, shading the ground with tents of silvery 
network. The olive near Florence is but a shrub in 
comparison, and I have learnt to despise a little, too, 
the Florentine vine, which does not swing such port- 



COLLECTION OF LETTERS 113 

cullises of massive dewy green from one tree to an- 
other as along the whole road where we travelled. Beau- 
tiful, indeed, it was. Spezzia wheels the blue sea into 
the arms of the wooded mountains, and we had a 
glance at Shelley's house at Lerici. It was melan- 5 
choly to me, of course. I was not sorry that the lodg- 
ings we inquired about were far above our means. 
We returned on our steps (after two days in the dirtiest 
of possible inns), saw Seravezza, a village in the moun- 
tains, where rock, river, and wood enticed us to stay, 10 
and the inhabitants drove us off by their unreasonable 
prices. It is curious, but just in proportion to the 
want of civilisation the prices rise in Italy. If 
you haven't cups and saucers you are made to pay for 
plate. Well, so finding no rest for the sole of our feet, 15 
I persuaded Robert to go to the Baths of Lucca, only 
to see them. We were to proceed afterwards to San 
Marcello or some safer wilderness. We had both of 
us, but he chiefly, the strongest prejudice against 
these Baths of Lucca, taking them for a sort of wasp's- 20 
nest of scandal and gaming, and expecting to find every- 
thing trodden flat by the continental English; yet I 
wanted to see the place, because it is a place to see 
after all. So we came, and were so charmed by the 
exquisite beauty of the scenery, by the coolness of the 25 
climate and the absence of our countrymen, political 
troubles serving admirably our private requirements, 
that we made an offer for rooms on the spot, and re- 
1 



114 COLLECTION OF LETTERS 

turned to Florence for baby and the rest of our estab- 
lishment without further delay. Here we are, then; 
we have been here more than a fortnight. We have 
taken an apartment for the season — four months — 

5 paying twelve pounds for the whole term, and hoping 
to be able to stay till the end of October. The living 
is cheaper than even at Florence, so that there has been 
no extravagance in coming here. In fact, Florence is 
scarcely tenable during the summer from the excessive 

ioheat by day and night, even if there were no particu- 
lar motive for leaving it. We have taken a sort of 
eagle's nest in this place, the highest house of the 
highest of the three villages which are called the Bagni 
di Lucca, and which lie at the heart of a hundred moun- 

is tains sung to continually by a rushing mountain stream. 
The sound of the river and of the cicala is all the 
noise we hear. Austrian drums and carriage wheels 
cannot vex us ; God be thanked for it ; the silence is 
full of joy and consolation. I think my husband's 

20 spirits are better already and his appetite improved. 
Certainly little babe's great cheeks are growing rosier 
and rosier. He is out all day when the sun is not too 
strong, and Wilson will have it that he is prettier than 
the whole population of babies here. He fixes his 

25 blue eyes on everybody and smiles universal benevo- 
lence, rather too indiscriminately it might be were it 
not for Flush. But certainly, on the whole he pre- 
fers Flush. He pulls his ears and rides on him, and 



COLLECTION OF LETTERS 115 

Flush, though his dignity does not approve of being 
used as a pony, only protests by turning his head 
round to kiss the little bare dimpled feet. A merrier, 
sweeter-tempered child there can't be than our baby, 
and people wonder at his being so forward at four 5 
months old and think there must be a mistake in his 
age. He is so strong that when I put out two fingers 
and he has seized them in his fists he can draw himself 
up on his feet, but we discourage this forwardness, 
which is not desirable, say the learned. Children of 10 
friends of mine at ten months and a year can't do so 
much. Is it not curious that my child should be re- 
markable for strength and fatness ? He has a beaming, 
thinking little face, too; oh, I wish you could see it. 
Then my own strength has wonderfully improved, 15 
just as my medical friends prophesied; and it seems 
like a dream when I find myself able to climb hills with 
Robert and help him to lose himself in the forests. 
I have been growing stronger and stronger, and where 
it is to stop I can't tell, really ; I can do as much, or 20 
more, now than at any point of my life since I ar- 
rived at woman's estate. The air of this place seems 
to penetrate the heart and not the lungs only; it 
draws you, raises you, excites you. Mountain air 
without its keenness, sheathed in Italian sunshine, 25 
think what that must be ! And the beauty and the 
solitude — for with a few paces we get free of the habi- 
tations of men — all is delightful to me. What is 



116 COLLECTION OF LETTERS 

peculiarly beautiful and wonderful is the variety of 
the shapes of the mountains. They are a multitude, 
and yet there is no likeness. None, except where the 
golden mist comes and transfigures them into one glory. 

5 For the rest, the mountain there wrapt in the chestnut 
forest is not like that bare peak which tilts against the 
sky, nor like that serpent twine of another which seems 
to move and coil in the moving coiling shadow. Oh, 
I wish you were here. You would enjoy the shade of 

10 the chestnut trees, and the sound of the waterfalls, 
and at nights seem to be living among the stars ; the 
fireflies are so thick, you would like that too. . . . 
Love me and write to me, who am ever and ever your 
affectionate 

I5 . E.B.B. 

(47) Lady Duff Gordon to Her Husband 

Boat off Embabeh, November 21, 1862. 
Dearest Alick,° — We embarked yesterday, and 
after the fashion of Eastern caravans are abiding to- 
day at a village opposite Cairo : it is Friday, and 

20 therefore would be improper and unlucky to set out 
on our journey. The scenes on the river are wonder- 
fully diverting and curious, so much life and movement. 
But the boatmen are sophisticated : my crew have all 
sported new white drawers in honour of the Sitti 

25 Inglezee's supposed modesty — of course compensa- 



COLLECTION OF LETTERS 117 

tion will be expected. Poor fellows : they are very 
well mannered and quiet in their rags and misery, and 
their queer little humming song is rather pretty, 
'Eyah Mohammad, eyah Mohammad/ ad infinitum, 
except when an energetic man cries 'Yallah!' — i.e. 5 
'O God!' — which means 'go it' in everyday life. 
Omar ° is gone to fetch one or two more ' unconsidered 
trifles ! ' and I have been explaining the defects to be 
remedied in the cabin door, broken window, etc., to 
my Reis with the help of six w T ords of Arabic and dumb 10 
show, which they understand and answer with wonder- 
ful quickness. 

The air on the river is certainly quite celestial — 
totally unlike the damp, chilly feeling of the hotel and 
Frank quarter of Cairo. The Isbekeeyeh, or public 15 
garden, where all the Franks live, was a lake, I believe, 
and is still very damp. 

I shall go up to the second Cataract as fast as pos- 
sible, and return back at leisure. Hekekian Bey ° came 
to take leave yesterday, and lent me several books : 20 
pray tell Senior w r hat a kindness his introduction was. 
It would have been rather dismal at Cairo — if one 
could be dismal there — without a soul to speak to. 
I was sorry to know 7 no Turks or Arabs, and have no 
opportunity of seeing any but the tradesman of whom 25 
I bought my stores but that was very amusing. The 
young man of whom I bought my finjaans was so hand- 
some, elegant and melancholy that I know he was the 



118 COLLECTION OF LETTERS 

lover of the Sultan's favorite slave. How I wish you 
were here to enjoy all this, so new, so beautiful, and yet so 
familiar life — and you would like the people, poor things ! 
they are complete children, but amiable children. 
5 I went into the village here, where I was a curiosity, 
and some women took me into their houses and showed 
me their sleeping-place, cookery, poultry, etc. ; and a 
man followed me to keep off the children, but no 
backsheesh was asked for, which showed that Euro- 

iopeans were rare there. The utter destitution is ter- 
rible to see, though in this climate of course it matters 
less, but the much-talked-of dirt is simply utter pov- 
erty. The poor souls are as clean as Nile mud and 
water will make their bodies, and they have not a 

15 second shirt, or any bed but dried mud. 

Give my love to my darlings, and don't be uneasy if 
you don't get letters. My cough has been better now 
for five days without a bad return of it, so I hope it is 
really better ; it is the first reprieve for so long. The 

20 sun is so hot, a regular broil. November 21, and all 
doors and windows open in the cabin — a delicious 
breeze. 

(48) Lady Buff Gordon to Mrs. Austin 

Feshn, Monday, November 30, 1862. 
Dearest Mutter, — I have now been enjoying 
25 this most delightful way of life for ten days, and am 



COLLECTION OF LETTERS 119 

certainly much better. I begin to eat and sleep again, 
and cough less. My crew° are a great amusement 
to me. They are mostly men from near the first 
Cataract above Assouan, sleek-skinned, gentle, patient, 
merry black fellows. The little black Reis is the very 5 
picture of good-nature and full of fun, ' chaffing ' the 
girls as we pass the villages, and always smiling. The 
steersman is of lighter complexion, also very cheery, 
but decidedly pious. He prays five times a day and 
utters ejaculations to the apostle Rusool continually. 10 
He hurt his ankle on one leg and his instep on the other 
w^ith a rusty nail, and they festered. I dressed them 
with poultices, and then with lint and strapping, with 
perfect success, to the great admiration of all hands, 
and he announced how much better he felt, 'Alham-15 
dulillah, kiethel-hairack khateer ya Sitti ' (Praise be to 
God and thanks without end O Lady), and every one 
echoed, ' kieth-el-hairack khateer/ The most impor- 
tant person is the 'weled' — boy — Achmet. The 
most merry, clever, omnipresent little rascal, with an 20 
ugly little pug face, a shape like an antique cupid, 
liberally displayed, and a skin of dark brown velvet. 
His voice, shrill and clear, is always heard foremost; 
he cooks for the crew, he jumps overboard with the 
rope and gives advice on all occasions, grinds the coffee 25 
with the end of a stick in a mortar, which he holds be- 
tween his feet, and uses the same large stick to walk 
proudly before me, brandishing it if I go ashore for 



120 COLLECTION OF LETTERS 

a minute, and ordering everybody out of the way. 
' Ya Achmet ! ' resounds all day whenever anybody 
wants anything, and the Sveled' is always ready and 
able. My favourite is Osman, a tall, long-limbed 
5 black who seems to have stepped out of a hieroglyphical 
drawing, shirt, skull-cap and all. He has only those 
two garments, and how anyone contrives to look so 
inconceivably 'neat and respectable ' (as Sally truly 
remarked) in that costume is a mystery. He is always 

10 at work, always cheerful, but rather silent — in short, 
the able seaman and steady, respectable 'hand' par 
excellence. Then we have El Zankalonee from near 
Cairo, an old fellow of white complexion and a valuable 
person, an inexhaustible teller of stories at night and 

15 always en train, full of jokes and remarkable for a dry 
humour much relished by the crew. I wish I under- 
stood the stories, which sound delightful, all about 
Sultans and Efreets, with effective 'points/ at which 
all hands exclaim ' Mashallah ! ' or ' Ah ! ' (as long as 

20 you can drawl it). The jokes, perhaps, I may as well 
be ignorant of. There is a certain Shereef who does 
nothing but laugh and w T ork and be obliging; helps 
Omar° with one hand and Sally with the other, and 
looks like a great innocent black child. The rest of 

25 the dozen are of various colors, sizes and ages, some 
quite old, but all very quiet and well-behaved. 

We have had either dead calm or contrary wind all 
the time and the men have worked very hard at the 



COLLECTION OF LETTERS 121 

tow rope. On Friday I proclaimed a hait in the 
afternoon at a village at prayer-time for the pious 
Muslims to go to the mosque ; this gave great satis- 
faction, though only five went, Reis, steersman, 
Zankalonee and two old men. . . . On Sunday we 5 
halted at Bibbeh, where I caught sight of a large 
Coptic church and sallied forth to see whether they 
would let me in. The road lay past the house of the 
headman of the village, and there 'in the gate' sat a 
patriarch, surrounded by his servants and his cattle. 10 
Over the gateway were crosses and queer constellations 
of dots, more like the Mithraic symbols than anything 
Christian, but Girgis was a Copt, though chosen head 
of the Muslim village. He rose as I came up, stepped 
out and salaamed, then took my hand and said I must 15 
go into his house before I saw the church and enter 
the hareem. His old mother, who looked a hundred, 
and his pretty wife, were very friendly ; but as I had 
to leave Omar at the door, our talk soon came to an 
end,° and Girgis took me out into the divan, without 20 
the sacred precincts of the hareem. Of course we had 
pipes and coffee, and he pressed me to stay some 
days, to eat with him every day and to accept all his 
house contained. I took the milk he offered, and 
asked him to visit me in the boat, saying I must return 25 
before sunset when it gets cold, as I was ill. The house 
was a curious specimen of a wealthy man's house — I 
could not describe it if I tried, but I felt I was acting a 



122 COLLECTION OF LETTERS 

passage of the Old Testament. We went to the 
church, which outside looked like nine beehives in a 
box. Inside, the nine domes resting on square pillars 
were very handsome. Girgis was putting it into thor- 

5 ough repair at his own expense, and it will cost a good 
deal, I think 3 to repair and renew the fine old wood 
panelling of such minute and intricate workmanship. 
... I wished to hear the service, but it was not till 
sunset, and as far as I could make out, not different 

10 on Sunday to other days. The Hareems are behind 
the screen furthest removed from the holy screen, 
behind a third screen where also was the font, locked 
up and shaped like a Muslim tomb in little. (Hareem 
is used here just like the German Frauenzimmer, to 

15 mean a respectable woman. Girgis spoke of me to 
Omar as 'Hareem/) The Copts have but one wife, 
but they shut her up much closer than the Arabs. 
The children were sweetly pretty, so unlike the Arab 
brats, and the men were very good-looking. They did 

20 not seem to acknowledge me at all as a co-religionnaire,° 
and asked whether we of the English religion did not 
marry our brothers and sisters. 

The priest then asked me to drink coffee at his house 
close by, and there I * sat in the gate' ° — i.e., in a large 

25 sort of den raised two feet from the ground and matted, 
to the left of the gate. A crowd of Copts collected 
and squatted about, and we were joined by the mason 
who was repairing the church, a fine, burly rough- 



COLLECTION OF LETTERS 123 

bearded old Mussulman, who told how the Sheykh ° 
buried in the church of Bibbeh had appeared to him 
three nights running at Cairo and ordered him to leave 
his work and go to Bibbeh and mend his church, and 
how he came and offered to do so without pay if the 5 
Copts would find the materials. He spoke with evi- 
dent pride, as one who had received a Divine com- 
mand, and the Copts all confirmed the story and 
everyone was highly gratified by the miracle. I 
asked Omar if he thought it was all true, and he had 10 
no doubt of it. The mason he knew to be a respect- 
able man in full work, and Girgis added he had tried 
to get a man to come for years for the purpose without 
success. It is not often that a dead saint contrives 
to be equally agreeable to Christians and Mussulmans, 15 
and here was the staunch old 'true believer' working 
away in the sanctuary which they would not allow an 
English fellow-Christian to enter. 

Whilst we sat hearing all these wonders, the sheep 
and cattle pushed in between us, coming home at eve. 20 
The venerable old priest looked so like Father Abraham, 
and the whole scene was so pastoral and Biblical that 
I felt quite as if my wish was fulfilled to live a little a 
few thousand of years ago. They wanted me to stay 
many days, and then Girgis said I must stop at Feshn 25 
where he had a fine house and garden, and he would 
go on horseback and meet me there, and would give me 
a whole troup of Fellaheen to pull the boat up quick. 



124 COLLECTION OF LETTERS 

Omar's eyes twinkled with fun as he translated this, 
and said he knew the Sitt° would cry out, as she always 
did about the Fellaheen, as if she were hurt herself. 
He told Girgis that the English customs did not 
5 allow people to work without pay, which evidently 
seemed very absurd to the whole party. 



(49) Lady Buff Gordon to Her Husband 

Thebes, February 11, 1863. 
Dearest Alick, — On arriving here last night I 
found one letter from you, dated December 10, and 

i o have received nothing else. Pray write again forth- 
with to Cairo where I hope to stay some weeks. A 
clever old dragoman I met at Phila3° offers to lend 
me furniture for a lodging or a tent for the desert, 
and when I hesitated he said he was very well off and 

15 it was not his business to sell things, but only to be 
paid for his services by rich people, and that if I did 
not accept it as he meant it he should be quite hurt. 
This is what I have met with from everything Arab 
— nothing but kindness and politeness. I shall say 

20 farewell to Egypt with real feeling; among other 
things, it will be quite a pang to part with Omar who 
has been my shadow all this time and for whom I 
have quite an affection, he is so thoroughly good and 
amiable. 



COLLECTION OF LETTERS 125 

I am really much better I hope and believe, though 
only within the last week or two. ... At Assouan I 
had been strolling about in that most poetically melan- 
choly spot, the granite quarry of old Egypt and burial- 
place of Muslim martyrs, and as I came homewards 5 
along the bank a party of slave merchants, who had 
just loaded their goods for Senaar from the boats on 
the camels, asked me to dinner, and, oh ! how deli- 
cious it felt to sit on a mat among the camels and 
strange bales of goods and eat the hot tough bread, sour 10 
milk and dates, offered with such stately courtesy. 
We got quite intimate over our leather cup of sherbet 
(brown sugar and water), and the handsome jet-black 
men, with features as beautiful as those of the young 
Bacchus, described the distant lands in a way which 15 
would have charmed Herodotus. They proposed to 
me to join them, 'they had food enough,' and Omar 
and I were equally inclined to go. . . . 

I have eaten many odd things with odd people in 
queer places, dined in a respectable Nubian family 20 
(the castor-oil was trying), been to a Nubian wedding 
— such a dance I saw. Made friends with a man 
much looked up to in his place (Kalabshee — notorious 
for cutting throats), inasmuch as he had killed several 
intrusive tax-gatherers and recruiting officers. He was 25 
very gentlemanly and kind and carried me up a pi nee 
so steep I could not have reached it. Just below the 
cataract — by-the-by going up is nothing but noise 



126 COLLECTION OF LETTERS 

and shouting, but coming down is fine fun. . . . 
My sailors all prayed away manfully, and were hor- 
ribly frightened. I confess my pulse quickened, but 
I don't think it was fear. Well, below the cataract I 
s stopped for a religious fete, and went to a holy tomb 
with the darweesh, so extraordinarily handsome and 
graceful — the true feingemacht ° noble Bedaw T een ° 
type. He took care of me through the crowd, who 
never had seen a Frank woman before and crowded 

10 fearfully, and pushed the true believers unmercifully 
to make room for me. He was particularly pleased at 
my not being afraid of Arabs; I laughed and asked 
if he was afraid of us. ' Oh no ! he would like to come 
to England; when there he would work to eat and 

15 drink, and then sit and sleep in church.' I was posi- 
tively ashamed to tell my religious friend that with 
us the l house of God' is not the house of the poor 
stranger. I asked him to eat with me but he was 
holding a preliminary Ramadan (it begins next week) 

20 and could not; but he brought his handsome sister, 
who was richly dressed, and begged me to visit him 
and eat of his bread, cheese and milk. Such is the 
treatment one finds if one leaves the highroad and the 
backsheesh-hunting parasites. There are plenty of 

25 'gentlemen' barefooted and clad in a shirt and cloak 
ready to pay attentions which you may return with a 
civil look and greeting, and if you offer a cup of coffee 
and a seat on the floor you give great pleasure, still 



COLLECTION OF LETTERS 127 

more if you eat the dourah and dates, or bread and sour 
milk with an appetite. 

At Koon Ombo we met a Rifaee darweesh with 
his basket of tame snakes. After a little talk he pro- 
posed to initiate me, and so we sat down and held 5 
hands like people marrying. Omar sat behind me 
and repeated the words as my 'Wakeel,' ° then the 
Rifaee twisted a cobra round our joined hands and 
requested me to spit on it, he did the same and I was 
pronounced safe and enveloped in snakes. My sailors 10 
groaned and Omar shuddered as the snakes put out 
their tongues — the darweesh and I smiled at each 
other like Roman augurs. I need not say the crea- 
tures were toothless. 

It is worth going to Nubia to see the girls. Up to 15 
twelve or thirteen they are neatly dressed in a bead 
necklace and a leather fringe 4 inches wide around 
the loins, and anything so absolutely perfect as their 
shapes or so sweetly innocent as their look can't be 
conceived. My pilot's little girl came in the dress 20 
mentioned before carrying a present of cooked fish on 
her head and some fresh eggs ; she was four years old 
and so klug.° I gave her a captain's biscuit and some 
figs, and the little pet sat with her legs tucked under 
her, and ate it so manic rlich ° and was so long over it, 25 
and wrapped up some more white biscuit to take home 
in a little rag of a veil so carefully. I longed to steal 
her, she was such a darling. Two beautiful young 



128 COLLECTION OF LETTERS 

Nubian women visited me in my boat, with hair in 
little plaits finished off with lumps of yellow clay bur- 
_ nished like golden tags, soft, deep bronze skins, and 
lips and eyes fit for Isis and Hathor. Their very dress 
5 and ornaments were the same as those represented in 
the tombs, and I felt inclined to ask them how T many 
thousand years old they were. In their house I sat 
on an ancient Egyptian couch with the semicircular 
head-rest, and drank out of crockery which looked 

10 antique, and they brought a present of dates in a 
basket such as you may see in the British Museum. 
They are dressed in drapery like Greek statues, and are 
as perfect, but have hard, bold faces, and, though far 
handsomer, lack the charm of the Arab women ; and 

15 the men, except at Kalabshee and those from far up 
the country, are not such gentlemen as the Arabs. 

How I did wish for my darling Rainie to play with 
Achmet in the boat and see the pretty Nubian boys 
and girls. I have seen and heard so much, that like 

20 M. de Conti je voudrais etre lew pour Valler dire.° I 
long to bore you with traveller's tales. Pray write 
soon. 

Omar wanted to hear all that 'the gentleman' said 
about 'weled and bint' (boy and girl), and was quite 

25 delighted to hear of Maurice's good report at school, 
he thinks that the ' Abou el welad' (father of the chil- 
dren — you, to wit) will send a sheep to the 'fikee' 



COLLECTION OF LETTERS 129 

who teaches him. I have learned a new code of pro- 
priety altogether — cela a du bon et du mauvais 9 ° like 
ours. When I said 'my husband' Omar blushed and 
gently corrected me; when my donkey fell in the 
streets he cried with vexation, and on my mentioning 5 
the fall to Hekekian Bey° he w r as quite indignant. 
'Why you say it, Ma'am? that shame' — a faux 
pas° in fact. 

Good-bye, dear x\lick, no, that is improper : I must 
say l O my Lord' or 'Abou Maurice.' 10 

(50) Lady Duff Gordon to Her Mother, Mrs. Austin 

A Few Miles below Girgeh, 
March 7, 1863. 

Dearest Mutter, — I was so glad to find from your 
letter (wdiich Janet sent me to Thebes by a steamer) 
that mine from Siout° had reached you safely. First 15 
and foremost I am wonderfully better. In Cairo the 
winter had been terribly cold and damp, as the Coptic 
priest told me yesterday at Girgeh. So I don't repent 
the expense of the boat for fen ai pour mm argent ° — 
I am all the money better and really think of getting 20 
well. Now that I know the ways of this country a 
little, which Herodotus truly says is like no other, 
I see that I might have gone and lived at Thebes or 
at Keneh or Assouan on next to nothing, but then 
how could I know it? The English have raised a 



130 COLLECTION OF LETTERS 

mirage of false wants and extravagance which the 
servants of the country of course, some from interest 
and others from mere ignorance, do their best to keep 
up. As soon as I had succeeded in really persuading 
5 Omar that I was not as rich as a Pasha and had no 
wish to be thought so, he immediately turned over a 
new leaf as to what must be had and said 'Oh, if I 
could have thought an English lady would have eaten 
and lived and done the least like Arab people, I might 

10 have hired a house at Keneh for you, and we might 
have gone up in a clean passenger boat, but I thought 
no English could bear it/ At Cairo, where we shall 
be, Inshallaha, on the 19th, Omar will get a lodging 
and borrow a few mattresses and a table and chair 

15 and, as he says, 'keep the money in our pockets in- 
stead of giving it to the hotel/ I hope Alick got my 
letter from Thebes, and that he told you that I had 
dined with ' the blameless Ethiopians/ ° I have seen 
all the temples in Nubia and down as far as I have 

20 come, and nine of the tombs at Thebes. Some are 
wonderfully beautiful — Abou Simbel, Kalabshee, 
Koom Ombo — a little temple at El Kab, lovely — 
three tombs at Thebes and most of all Abydos ; Edfou 
and Dendera are the most perfect, Edfou quite per- 

25 feet, but far less beautiful. But the most lovely 
object my eyes ever saw is the island of Philee. It 
gives one quite the supernatural feeling of Claude's 
best landscapes, only not the least like them — ganz 



COLLECTION OF LETTERS 131 

anders. The Arabs say that Ans el Wogood, the most 
beautiful of men, built it for his most beautiful be- 
loved, and there they lived in perfect beauty and hap- 
piness all alone. If the weather had not been so cold 
while I was there I should have lived in the temple, in 5 
a chamber sculptured with the mystery of Osiris' c 
burial and resurrection. Omar cleaned it out and 
meant to move my things there for a few days, but it 
was too cold to sleep in a room without a door. The 
winds have been extraordinarily cold this year, and 10 
are so still. We have had very little of the fine warm 
weather, and really been pinched with cold most of 
the time. On the shore away from the river would be 
much better for invalids. 

Mustapha Aga, the consular agent at Thebes, has 15 
offered me a house of his, up among the tombs in the 
finest air, if ever I want it. He was very kind and 
hospitable indeed to all the English there. I went to 
his hareem, and liked his vWf e's manners very much. It 
was charming to see that she henpecked her handsome 20 
old husband completely. They had fine children, 
and his boy, about thirteen or so, rode and played 
Jereed ° one day when Abdallah Pasha had ordered the 
people of the neighborhood to do it for General Parker. 
I never saw so beautiful a performance. The old Gen- 25 
eral and I were quite excited, and he tried it to the 
great amusement of the Sheykh el Beled. Some 
young Englishmen were rather grand about it, but 



132 COLLECTION OF LETTERS 

declined mounting the horses and trying a throw. 
The Sheykh and young Hassan and then old Mustapha 
wheeled round and round like beautiful hawks, and 
caught the palm-sticks thrown at them as they dashed 
5 round. It was superb, and the horses were good, 
though the saddles and bridles were rags and ends of 
rope, and the men were tatterdemalions. A little 
below Thebes I stopped, and walked inland to Koos 
to see a noble old mosque falling to ruin. Xo English 

iohad ever been there and we were surrounded by a 
crowd in the bazaar. Instantly five or six tall fellows 
with long sticks improvised themselves our body-guard 
and kept the people off, who du teste ° were perfectly 
civil and only curious to see such strange 'Hareem/ 

15 and after seeing us well out of the town evaporated 
as quietly as they came without a word. I gave about 
ten-pence to buy oil, as it is Ramadan and the mosque 
ought to be lighted, and the old servant of the mosque 
kindly promised me full justice at the Day of Judgment, 

2c as I was one of those Nasranee of whom the Lord 
Mohammed said that they are not proud and wish well 
to the Muslimeen. The Pasha had confiscated all 
the lands belonging to the mosque, and allowed 300 
piastres — not £2 a month — for all expenses ; of 

25 course the noble old building with its beautiful carving 
and arabesque mouldings must fall down. There 
was a smaller one beside it, where he declared that 
anciently forty girls lived unmarried and recited the 



COLLECTION OF LETTERS 133 

Koran — Muslim nuns, in fact. I intended to ask 
the Alim, for whom I have a letter from Mustapha, 
about such an anomaly. 

Some way above Bellianeh Omar asked eagerly leave 
to stop the boat as a great Sheyk° had called to us, and 5 
we should inevitably have some disaster if we dis- 
obeyed. So we stopped and Omar said ' come and see 
the Sheyk, ma'am/ I walked off and presently 
found about thirty people, including all my own men 
sitting on the ground round St. Simon Stylites — 10 
without the column. A hideous old man like Poly- 
phemus, utterly naked, with the skin of a rhinoceros 
all cracked with the weather, sat there, and had sat 
day and night, summer and winter, motionless for 
twenty years. He never prays, he* never washes, he 15 
does not keep Ramadan, and yet he is a saint. Of 
course I expected a good hearty curse from such a 
man, but he was delighted with my visit, asked me to 
sit down, ordered his servant to bring me sugar-cane, 
asked my name and tried to repeat it over and over 20 
again, and was quite talkative and full of jokes and 
compliments, and took no notice of anyone else. Omar 
and my crew smiled and nodded, and all congratulated 
me heartily. Such a distinction proves my own ex- 
cellence (as the Sheyk knows all people's thoughts), 25 
and is sure to be followed by good fortune. Finally 
Omar proposed to say the Fathah in which all joined 
except the Sheyk, who looked rather bored by the 



134 COLLECTION OF LETTERS 

interruption, and desired us not to go so soon, unless 
I were in a hurry. A party of Bedaween came up on 
camels with presents for the holy man, but he took 
no notice of them, and went on questioning Omar 
5 about me, and answering my questions. What struck 
me was the total absence of any sanctimonious air 
about the old fellow ; he was quite worldly and jocose ; 
I suppose he knew that his position was secure, and 
thought his dirt and nakedness proved his holiness 

10 enough. Omar then recited the Fathah again, and 
we rose and gave the servants a few foddahs — the 
saint takes no notice of this part of the proceeding 
— but he asked me to send him twice my hand full of 
rice for his dinner, an honor so great that there was a 

15 murmur of congratulation through the whole assembly. 
I asked Omar how a man could be a saint who neglected 
all the duties of a Muslim, and I found that he fully 
believed that Sheyk Seleem could be in two places 
at once, that while he sits there on the shore he is also 

20 at Mecca, performing every sacred function and 
dressed all in green. 'Many people have seen him 
there, ma'am, quite true.' 

From Bellianeh we rode on pack-donkeys without 
bridles to Abydos, six miles through the most beautiful 

25 crops ever seen. The absence of weeds and blight is 
wonderful, and the green of Egypt, where it is green, 
would make English green look black. Beautiful 
cattle, sheep and camels were eating the delicious 



COLLECTION OF LETTERS 135 

clover, while their owners camped there in reed huts 
during the time the crops are growing. Such a lovely 
scene, all sweetness and plenty. We ate our bread 
and dates in Osiris' temple, and a woman offered us 
buffalo milk on our way home, which we drank warm 5 
out of the huge earthen pan it had been milked in. 
At Girgeh I found my former friend Mishregi absent, 
but his servants told some of his friends of my arrival, 
and about seven or eight big black turbans soon gath- 
ered in the boat. A darling little Coptic boy came with 10 
his father and wanted a 'kitaah' (book) to write in, 
so I made one with paper and the cover of my old 
pocket-book, and gave him a pencil. I also bethought 
me of showing him 'pickys' in a book, which was so 
glorious a novelty that he wanted to go with me to 15 
my town, 'Beled Ingleez,' where more such books were 
to be found. 

(51) Lady Duff Gordon to Her Husband 

Cairo, April 13, 1863. 
Dearest Alick, — You will have heard from my 
mother of my ill luck, falling sick again. The fact is 20 
that the spring in Egypt is very trying, and I came 
down the river a full month too soon. People do 
tell such lies about the heat. To-day is the first warm 
day we have had ; till now I have been shivering, and 
Sally too. I have been out twice, and saw the holy 25 



136 COLLECTION OF LETTERS 

Mahmaal c rest for its first station outside the town ; it 
is a deeply affecting sight — all these men preparing 
to endure such hardship. . . . Muslim piety is so 
unlike what Europeans think it is, — so full of tender 
5 emotions, so much more sentimental than we imagine 
— and it is wonderfully strong. I used to hear Omar 
praying outside my door while I was so ill, 'O God, 
make her better. O my God, let her sleep/ as natu- 
rally as we should say, 'I hope she'll have a good 

10 night.' 

April 15. — I continue to get better slowly, and in 
a few days will go down to Alexandria. Omar is 
gone to Boulak ° to inquire the cost of a boat, as I am 
not fond of the railroad, and have a good deal of heavy 

15 baggage, cooking utensils, etc., which the railroad 
charges enormously for. The black slave girl,° sent 
as a present to the American Consul-General, is as 
happy as possible, and sings quaint, soft little Kordo- 
fan° songs all day. I hope you won't object to my 

20 bringing her home. She wails so terribly when Omar 
tells her she is not my slave, for fear I should leave 
her, and insists on being my slave. She wants to be 
a present to Rainie, the little Sitt,° and laughs out so 
heartily at the thought of her. She is very quiet and 

25 gentle, poor little savage, and the utter slavishness of 
the poor little soul quite upsets me; she has no will 
of her own. Now she has taken to talking, and tells 
all her woes and how batal (bad) everyone was at 



COLLECTION OF LETTERS 137 

Khartoum ; an<d then she rubs her little black in 
on my hand, and laughs so merrily, and says all 
is quyis keteer (very good) here, and she hugs her- 
self with delight. I think Rainie will like her very 
much. 5 

I am going to visit an old Muslim French painter's 
family. He has an Arab wife and grown-up daughters, 
and is a very agreeable old man with a store of Arab 
legends; I am going to persuade him to write them 
and let me translate them into English. ... If 10 
anyone tries to make you believe any bosh about 
civilization in Egypt, laugh at it. The real life and 
the real people are exactly as described in the most 
veracious of books, the ' Thousand and One Nights ' ° ; 
the tyranny is the same, the people are not altered — 15 
and very charming people they are. If I could but 
speak the language I could get into Arab society here 
through two or three different people, and see more 
than many Europeans who have lived here all their 
lives. The Arabs are keenly alive to the least prejudice 20 
against them, but when they feel quite safe on that 
point, they rather like the amusement of a stranger. . . . 

To-day the Khamseen is blowing and it is de- 
cidedly hot, quite unlike the heat at the Cape° ; this 
is close and gloomy, no sunshine. Altogether the 25 
climate is far less bright than I expected, very, very 
inferior to the Cape. Nevertheless, I heartily agree 
to the Arab saying: 'He who has drunk Nile water 



138 COLLECTION OF LETTERS 

, will ever long to drink it again ' ; and when a graceful 
woman in a blue shirt and veil lifts a huge jar from 
her shoulder and holds it to your lips with a hearty 
smile and welcome, it tastes doubly sweet. Alkam- 
5 dulillah ! ° Sally says all other water is like bad small- 
beer compared to sweet ale after . the Nile water. 
When the Khamseen is over, Omar insists on my 
going to see the tree and well where Sittina Mariam 
rested with Seyidna Issa° in her arms during the 

10 flight into Egypt. It is venerated by Christian and 
Muslim alike, and is a great place for feasting and 
holiday-making out of doors, which the Arabs so dearly 
love. Do write and tell me what you wish me to do. 
If it were not that I cannot endure not to see you and 

15 the children, I would stay here and take a house at the 
Abbassieh in the desert; but I could not endure it. 
Nor can I endure this wandering life much longer. 
I must come home and die in peace if I don't get really 
better. Write to Alexandria next. 

(52) Lady Duff Gordon to Her Husband 

20 Luxor, March 22, 1864. 

Dearest Alick, — I am glad my letters amuse you. 

Sometimes I think they must breathe the unutterable 

dulness of Eastern life: not that it is dull to me, a 

curious spectator, but how the men with nothing to do 

25 can endure it is a wonder. I went yesterday to call 



COLLECTION OF LETTERS 139 

on a Turk at Karnac ; lie is a gentlemanly man, the 
son of a former Moudir, who was murdered, I believe, 
for his cruelty and extortion. He has 1,000 feddans 
(acres, or a little more) of land, and lives in a mud 
house, larger but no better than any fellah's, with 5 
two wives and the brother of one of them. He leaves 
the farm to his fallaheen altogether, I fancy. There 
was one book, a Turkish one; I could not read the 
title-page, and he did not tell me what it was. In 
short, there was no means of killing time but the 10 
narghile, no horse, no gun, nothing, and yet they 
did not seem bored. The two women are always 
clamorous for my visits, and very noisy and school- 
girlish, but apparently excellent friends and very 
good-natured. The gentleman gave me a kufyeh 15 
(thick head kerchief for the sun), so I took the ladies 
a bit of silk I happened to have. You never heard 
anything like his raptures over Maurice's portrait, 
'Mashallah, Mashallah, Wallahy zay el ward' (It is 
ihe will of God, and by God he is like a rose). But 20 
I can't 'cotton' to the Turks. I always feel that they 
secretly dislike us European women, though they 
profess huge admiration and pay personal compli- 
ments, which an Arab very seldom attempts. I 
heard Seleem Effendi and Omar discussing English 25 
ladies one day lately while I was inside the curtain 
with Seleem's slave girl, and they did not know I 
heard them. Omar described Janet, and was of the 



140 COLLECTION OF LETTERS 

opinion that a man who was married to her could 
want nothing more. "By my soul, she rides like a 
Bedawee, she shoots with the gun and pistol, and rows 
the boat; she speaks many languages, works with 
5 the needle like an Efreet, and to see her hands run 
over the teeth of the music-box (keys of piano) amazes 
the mind, while her singing gladdens the soul. How 
then should her husband ever desire the coffee-shop? 
Wallaby! she can always amuse him at home. And 

10 as to my lady, the thing is not that she does not know. 
When I feel' my stomach tightened, I go to the divan 
and say to her, 'Do you want anything, a pipe, or 
sherbet, or so and so ? ' and I talk till she lays down her 
book and talks to me, and I question her and amuse 

15 my mind, and, by God ! if I were a rich man and could 
marry one English Hareem like that I would stand 
before her and serve her like her memlook. You see 
I am only this lady's servant, and I have not once sat 
in the coffee-shop because of the sweetness of her 

20 tongue. Is it not therefore true that the man who can 
marry such Hareem is rich more than with money?" 
Seleem seemed disposed to think a little more of looks, 
though he quite agreed with all Omar's enthusiasm, 
and asked if Janet were beautiful. Omar answered 

25 with decorous vagueness that she was a 'moon, ' but 
declined mentioning her hair, eyes, etc. (it is a liberty 
to describe a woman minutely). I nearly laughed out 
at hearing Omar relate his manoeuvres to make me 



COLLECTION OF LETTERS 141 

1 amuse his mind ' ; it seems I am in no danger of being 
discharged for being dull. 

The weather has set in so hot that I have shifted 
my quarters out of my fine room to the south-west 
into one with only three sides looking over a lively 5 
green view to the north-east, with a huge sort of solid 
veranda, as large as the room itself, on the open side; 
thus I live in the open air altogether. The bats and 
the swallows are quite sociable; I hope the serpents 
and scorpions will be more reserved. 'El Khamaseen' 10 
(the fifty) has begun, and the wind is enough to mix 
up heaven and earth, but it is not distressing like the 
Cape south-easter, and, although hot, not choking 
like the Khamseen in Cairo and Alexandria. Mo- 
hammed brought me a handful of the new wheat just 15 
now. Think of harvest in March and April ! These 
winds are as good for the crops here as a "nice steady 
rain' is in England. It is not necessary to w^ater so 
much when the wind blows strong. As I rode through 
the green fields along the dyke, a little boy sang as 20 
he turned round on the musically-creaking Sakiah 
(the water-wheel turned by an ox) the one eternal 
Sakiah tune — the words are ad libitum, and my little 
friend chanted "Turn oh Sakiah to the right and 
turn to the left — who will take care of me if my 25 
father dies? Turn oh Sakiah, etc., pour water for the 
figs and the grass and for the watermelons. Turn oh 
Sakiah I" Nothing is so pathetic as that Sakiah song. 



142 COLLECTION OF LETTERS 

I passed the house of the Sheykh-el-Ababdeh,° who 
called out to me to take coffee. The moon was splen- 
did and the scene was lovely. The handsome black- 
brown Sheykh in dark robes and white turban, Omar 
5 in a graceful white gown and red turban, and the wild 
Ababdeh in all manner of dingy white rags, and with 
every kind of uncouth weapon, spears, matchlocks, 
etc., in every kind of wild and graceful attitude, with 
their long black ringlets and bare heads, a few little 

i o black-brown children quite naked and shaped like 
Cupids. And there we sat and looked so romantic 
and talked quite like ladies and gentlemen about the 
merits of Sakna and Almas, the two great rival women- 
singers of Cairo. I think the Sheykh wished to display 

15 his experiences of fashionable life. 

(53) Thomas Henry Huxley to Tyndall 

Hotel de Grande Bretagne, Naples, 

March 31, 1872. 

My dear Tyndall, — Your very welcome letter 

did not reach me until the 18th of March, when I 

20 returned to Cairo from my expedition to Assouan. 

Like Johnny Gilpin, I " little thought, when I set out, 

of running such a rig"; but while at Cairo I fell in 

with Ossory of the Athenaeum, and a very pleasant 

fellow, Charles Ellis, who had taken a dahabieh, and 

25 were about to start up the Nile. They invited me to 



COLLECTION OF LETTERS 143 

take possession of a vacant third cabin, and I accepted 
their hospitality, with the intention of going as far 
as Thebes and returning on my own hook. But when 
we got to Thebes I found there was no way of getting 
away again without much more exposure and fatigues 
than I felt justified in facing just then, and as my 
friends showed no disposition to be rid of me, I stuck 
to the boat, and only left them on the return voyage 
at Rodu, which is the terminus of the railway, about 
150 miles from Cairo. 10 

We had an unusually quick journey, as I was little 
more than a month away from Cairo, and as my com- 
panions made themselves very agreeable, it was very 
pleasant. I was not particularly well at first, but by 
degrees the utter rest of this "always afternoon " 15 
sort of life did its work, and I am as well and vigorous 
now as ever I was in my life. . . . 

Egypt interested me profoundly, but I must reserve 
the tale of all I did and saw there for word of mouth. 
From Alexandria I went to Messina, and thence made 20 
an excursion along the lovely Sicilian coast to Catania 
and Etna. The old giant was half covered with snow, 
and this fact, which would have tempted you to go 
to the top, stopped me. But I went to the Val del 
Bove, whence all the great lava streams have flowed 25 
for the last two centuries, and feasted my eyes with 
its rugged grandeur. From Messina I came on here, 
and had the great good fortune to find Vesuvius in 



144 COLLECTION OF LETTERS 

eruption. Before this fact the vision of good Bence 
Jones forbidding much exertion vanished into thin 
air, and on Thursday up I went in company with Ray 
Lankester and my friend Dohrn's father, Dohrn him- 
5 self being unluckily away. We had a glorious day, 
and did not descend till late at night. The great 
crater was not very active, and contented itself with 
throwing out great clouds of steam and volleys of 
red-hot stones now and then. These were thrown 

10 towards the south-west side of the cone, so that it was 
practicable to walk all round the northern and eastern 
lip, and look down into the Hell Gate. I wished you 
were there to enjoy the sight as much as I did. No 
lava was issuing from the great crater, but on the north 

15 side of this, a little way below the top, an independent 
cone had established itself as the most charming little 
pocket-volcano imaginable. It could - not have been 
more than 100 feet high, and at the top was a crater 
not more than six or seven feet across. Out of this, 

20 with a noise exactly resembling a blast furnace and a 
slowly-working high pressure steam engine combined, 
issued a violent torrent of steam and fragments of 
semi-fluid lava as big as one's fist, and sometimes 
bigger. These shot up sometimes as much as 100 

25 feet, and then fell down on the sides of the little crater, 
which could be approached within fifty feet without 
any danger. As darkness set in, the spectacle was most 
strange. The fiery stream found a lurid reflection in 



COLLECTION OF LETTERS 145 

the slowly-drifting steam cloud, which overhung it, while 
the red-hot stones which shot through the cloud shone 
strangely beside the quiet stars in a moonless sky. 

******* 

Courage, my friend, behold land ! I know you love 
my handwriting. I am off to Rome to-day, and this 5 
day-week, if all goes well, I shall be under my own 
roof-tree again. In fact I hope to reach London on 
Saturday evening. It will be jolly to see your face 

again. 

Ever yours faithfully, IO 

T. H. Huxley. 
My best remembrances to Hirst if you see him 
before I do. 

(54) Thomas Henry Huxley to His Daughter, Mrs. 

Roller 

Hotel de Milano, Florence, March 7, 1885. 

We have been here more than a week and have dis- 15 
covered two things, first that the wonderful "art 
treasures/' of which all the world has heard, are a sore 
burden to the conscience if you don't go to see them, 
and an awful trial to the back and legs if you do ; and 
thirdly, that the climate is productive of a peculiar 20 
kind of relaxed throat. M.'s° throat discovered it, but 
on inquiry, it proved to be a law of nature, at least, so 
the oldest inhabitants saw We called on them to-dav. 



146 COLLECTION OF LETTERS 

But it is a lovely place for all that, far better than 
Rome as a place to live in, and full of interesting 
things. We had a morning at the Uffizi the other 
day, and came back with minds enlarged and backs 

5 broken. To-morrow we contemplate attacking the 
Pitti, and doubt not the result will be similar. By 
the end of the week our minds will probably (be) so 
large, and the small of the back so small that we 
should probably break if we stayed any longer, so 

10 think it prudent to be off to Venice. . . . And mind 
we have letters waiting for us there, or your affection- 
ate Pater will emulate the historical "cocky." 

I got much better at Siena, probably the result of 
the medicinal nature of the city, the name of which, 

15 as a well-instructed girl like you knows, is derived 
from senna, which grows wild there, and gives the 
soil its peculiar pigmentary character. 

But unfortunately I forgot to bring any with me, 
and the effect went off during the first few days of our 

20 residence here, when I was, as the Italians say, " molto 
basso nel bocca." ° However I am picking up again 
now, and if people wouldn't call upon us, I feel there 
might be a chance for me. 

I except from that remark altogether the dear 

25 Walpoles who are here and as nice as ever. Mrs. 
Walpole's mother and sister live here, and the W.'s 
are on a visit to them but leave on Wednesday. 
They go to Venice, but only for two or three days. 



COLLECTION OF LETTERS 147 

We shall probably stay about a fortnight in Venice, 
and then make our way back by easy stages to London. 
We are wae to see you all again. 

Doctor M (Mrs. Huxley) has just been called 

in to a case of sore throat in the person of a young 5 
lady here, and is quite happy. The young lady prob- 
ably will not be, when she finds herself converted into 
a sort of inverted mustard-pot, with the mustard 
outside! She is one of a very nice family of girls, 
who (by contrast) remind us of our own. 10 

Ever your loving (to all) father, 

Pater. 

Mrs. M. has just insisted on seeing this letter. 

(55) Thomas Henry Huxley to His Youngest Daughter 

Hotel Beau Sejour, San Remo, 

March 30, 1885. 15 

Dearest Babs, — We could not stand " beautiful 
Venice the pride of the sea" any longer. It blew and 
rained and colded for eight-and-forty hours consecu- 
tively. Everybody said it was a most exceptional 
season, but that did not make us any warmer or pre- 20 
vent your mother from catching an awful cold. So 
as soon as she got better we packed up and betook 
ourselves here by way of Milan and Genoa. At 
Milan it was so like London on a wet day, that except 
for the want of smoke we might have been in our dear 25 



148 COLLECTION OF LETTERS 

native land. At Genoa we arrived late one afternoon 
and were off early in the morning — but by dint of 
taking a tram after dinner (not a dram) and going 
there and back again we are able to say we have seen 
5 that city of palaces. The basements we saw through 
the tram windows by mixed light of gas and moon may 
in fact all have belonged to palaces. We are not in 
a position to say they did not. 

The quick train from Genoa here is believed to go 

10 fully twenty-five miles an hour, but starts at 7 a.m., 
but the early morning air being bad for the 'health, 
we took the slow train at 9.30, and got here some time 
in the afternoon. But mind you it is a full eighty miles, 
and when we were at full speed between the stations — 

15 very few donkeys could have gone faster. But the 
coast scenery is very pretty, and we didn't mind. 

Here we are very well off and as nearly warm as I 
expect to be before reaching England. You can sit 
out in the sun with satisfaction, though there is a 

20 little knife-edge of wind just to remind us of Florence. 
Everybody, however, tells us it is quite an exceptional 
season, and that it ought to be the most balmy air 
imaginable. Besides there are no end of date-palms 
and cactuses and aloes and odorous flowers in the 

25 garden — and the loveliest purple sea you can imagine. 

Well, we shall stop some days and give San Remo a 

chance, — at least a week, unless the weather turns bad. 

As to your postcards which have been sent on from 



COLLECTION OF LETTERS 149 

Venice and are really shabby, I am not going to any 
dinners whatsoever, either Middle Temple or Academy. 
Just write to both that " Mr. H. regrets he is unable to ac- 
cept the invitation with which have honored him." 

I have really nothing the matter with me now — 5 
but my stock of strength is not great, and I can't 
afford to spend any on dinners. 

The blessedest thing now will be to have done with 
the nomadic life of the last five months — and see your 
ugly faces (so like their dear father) again. I believe 10 
it will be the best possible tonic for me. 

M has not got rid of her cold yet, but a few 

warm days here will, I hope, set her up. . . . 

Write here on receiving this. We shall take easy 
stages home, but I don't know that I shall be able to 15 
give you any address. 

M sends heaps of love to all (including Charles ), 

Ever your loving father, 

T. H. Huxley. 

Tell the "Micropholis" man that it is a fossil lizard 20 
with an armor of small scales. 

(56) John Richard Green to Mr. and Mrs. Humphry 

Ward 

Hotel Quisisana, Capri, March 4, 1873. 
It is really delightful, my dear Humphry, to get 
apologies from a correspondent for his own silence at 



150 COLLECTION OF LETTERS 

a time when every post is bringing me remonstrances 
for mine. 

I have come to my last month in Capri : at least I 
intend at present to cross the water at the close of 

5 March, spend a week or so in doing Pees turn, Amalfi, 
Pompeii, and Sibyl-land, and then go on to Rome. 
April and the beginning of May is said to be pleasant 
at Rome, and in this way I shall "dodge" the perver- 
sity which always sets me longing for "home" as soon 

ioas the spring begins. Not that I long as yet, for my 
winter has passed very happily, in spite of the "inevi- 
tables" of an invalid hotel; and I love Capri more 
than ever. I wonder whether I shall end by settling 
there? . . . 

15 I have written quite enough to Humphry, dear 
Mary,° but how horrible letters are, especially when 
one writes them at night all alone in one's room. 
How I wish I could have you both here cosying down 
in a myrtle thicket for a chat in the sunshine. For 

20 the sunshine has fairly come back to us now, and our 
winter — that dull month with its rain and wind — 
has fled away again. One soon forgets it now Spring 
is here, and the flowers are out in a flower-show on 
the hillsides — just as Spring flings them in that 

25 lovely Florentine picture — orchids and anemone 
and crocus and a host of white blossoms and blue that 
I don't know the name of. We had a dull carnival, 
for the young fisher lads are off coral-fishing on the 



COLLECTION OF LETTERS 151 

African coast, and there is something too serious in 
the Caprese temper for the true Carnival outbreak of 
downright childish fun. Indeed Carnival is more a 
religious festa than a social one; and the chief sight 
was the big church at Benediction crammed to the 5 
doors, and the w r andering home of group and group 
through the dark village, lanthorn in hand — one 
saw them scattering like a swarm of fireflies over the 
dusky valley beneath. Love and the Madonna — 
those are the two spiritual sides of the life of a Caprese. 10 
I have just been shaking hands through the grating 
of the Town-prison on the Piazza with a young sailor, 
who came back to find his loved one coming out of 
Church from her betrothal with a wealthy old con- 
tadino. He stabbed them both; but both are about 15 
again — only the contadino thinks better of his in- 
tention, and the inamorata comes penitently to the 
prison gate to weep out her repentance, and pour 
kisses on Giovanni's hand, — the hand that stabbed 
her. He is a quiet, nice respectable young fellow, and 20 
will soon be out again and marry Carmela, and buy 
a fishing-boat and be a respectable father — die per- 
haps a Churchwarden, who knows? At any rate, 
public opinion goes quite with Giovanni, and I go as 
I always go — with public opinion — and so we shake 25 
hands, and he fills his mouth with "confetti" (it is 
another weakness of his which I humor), and laughs 
and talks to me in broken Italian through the bars. 



152 COLLECTION OF LETTERS 

As to the Madonna whom we carried about in proces- 
sion the other day to get good weather for the coral 
fishers, and whose hair was unluckily turned red in 
the last dyeing, she is a little waning in religious fash- 

5 ion as May draws near and the feast of San Costanzo 
when the Bishop comes over and rides a-cock-horse 
up the hill with the silver image of " II Santo Protettore 
dell' Isola°" before him. Costanzo, Costanza, Con- 
stantino, Constantina, Costanzello, Costanzella — half 

iothe island is named after "II Protettore. ,, Nobody 
knows his own surname. Nicknames do instead. 
"Who is your father ?" I ask a boy. " Constantin," 
he replies, "Constantin il bugiardo" (Constantine the 
Liar). Lies don't count for much here — simply 

15 intellectual diversions. 



Good-bye, you know I am ever, affectionately yours, 

J. R. G. 

(57) John Richard Green to E. A. Freeman 

Rome, May 4, 1875. 

I have managed to jog on for a month from Turin 
20 to Psestum with only a couple of letters home, dear 
Freeman, but I mustn't quit Rome again without a 
word to you. Our journey has been a delightful 
one; the weather all through April was perfect, 
bright sunshine tempered by cool winds from the 



COLLECTION OF LETTERS 153 

Apennines and the Alps, where the snow still lay white 
and deep. Now summer has at last broken, and the 
heat is driving us all beaten northward. I won't 
bother you with all our doings on the regular track ; 
my aim was in part to pick up some places which 1 5 
had been forced to let go by in former years, such as 
Pavia, where three Eton masters pronounced them- 
selves "bored beyond measure," but which failed to 
bore me, oddly enough! I came away with a great 
Lombard fit on, and a great wonder why somebody IO 
hasn't writ a good story of the Lombard Conquest 
and Rule. It isn't near so fine a subject as one which 
tempted me in old days before I came down to humbler 
ways and "Short Histories," ° the story of the Goths, 
but it is easier to manage and full of delightful out- 15 
looks. . . . My great new find has been Siena, which 
henceforth ranks with Verona in my fond affection, 
though Verona looked wondrous fair this time with 
the Alps all a-snow about her. Siena has no S. Zeno,° 
but her Duomo° is a grand thing, a really fine Roman- 20 
esque nave widening out into a low broad dome of the 
same date, with broad transepts and choirs grouped 
round it. I never saw an interior more effective, more 
full of "points of view." In picturesqueness of street 
architecture Siena beats Verona all to fits ; the streets 25 
are hill lanes, curving and mounting and falling in 
the queerest and most delightful way, and tumbling 
one out in a stage-surprise fashion down break-neck 



154 COLLECTION OF LETTERS 

stairs into the grandest Town Square in all Italy, 
with none but fourteenth and fifteenth century things 
about it and a great tall Town-Tower springing up 
into the blue. I say Square, but it isn't a square at 

5 all, but an oval dipping in the middle, an old amphi- 
theatre the guide-books say. As for sculptures and 
pictures I say nought, throwing no pearls before the 
— well, the black swans of Somerleaze. Likewise 
more southernly I picked up Psestum, and poured 

10 out a libation to Poseidon that I might be suffered 
to return in the Bessemer. But the wine was very 
bad, and I doubt Poseidon, poor old thing, is grown 
deaf with hearing nothing so long. Oh, how jolly 
it was to feel in Hellas at last — never mind which 

15 Hellas — in real Hellas, though t'other side of the 
Hadrian Sea ! ° I felt a bit of a glow before even at 
Pompeii, when I got out of the Brighton-and-Burling- 
ton-Arcade streets and lighted on that grand bit of a 
Doric Temple, the only relics of the old Greek town 

20 before the Roman-Philisters turned it into a fashion- 
able watering-place. My Hellenism, however, pales 
before that of Mahaffy whom we found here, here in 
Rome, refusing with scorn to look at any "Roman 
thing." He was on his way to Athens, and simply 

25 picking up stray bits of Hellenism, sculptures &nd 
what not by the road. One of his aims is to verify 
Greek busts ; he doubts "Pericles," ° and a little doubts 
Alexander — whereat I wept and fled. Likewise he 



COLLECTION OF LETTERS 155 

is seeking to know how Hellenic young women kept 
their clothes on, a question wrapt in the deepest mys- 
tery, and insoluble by the Highest Germany. Per- 
haps it was too insoluble for the Hellenic young women 
themselves, as to judge from the later sculptures they 5 
seem soon to have dropt the effort to keep their clothes 
on. Perhaps that is why Mahaffy calls the Periclean 
time the age of Decadence. 

Let us chat about Rome. Old Parker is here and 
wondrous civil. I met him on Palatine Sunday sun- 10 
set, and though I was near dropping with fatigue, he 
trotted me over his walls and wolf-caves till nature 
could stand no more. But really he is a good old soul 
and tells one such a lot that one throws him in his 
Romulus and Remus willingly. . . . The diggings 15 
in the Colisseum ruin the look of the building within, 
but are interesting in themselves. At the bottom of 
one of the corridors lies a huge "ship's stocks" all 
perfect though decayed, the stocks from which the 
galleys were hoisted up into the canals above. I was 20 
puzzled about these naumachiae, but Parker speaketh 
thus, that two or three great galley canals, some ten 
feet deep, ran the whole length of the building, that 
the floor between these was thinly flooded with water 
so as to look like a great lake, that the naumachise 25 
consisted not in the galleys poking one another, which 
in parallel canals would be impossible, but in the crew 
of one striving to board the other, that when the fight 



156 COLLECTION OF LETTERS 

was over the surface water was drawn off by a great 
sluice (the water in the canals remaining) and the 
canals boarded over so as to present a great open 
arena. I think this was fairly borne out by the brick- 

5 work he showed. As for "dens for eighty elephants" 
I pass them by, the sagacity of that wonderful beast 
being perhaps equal to stowing its form into the dens 
archaeologists provide for it by a series of ingenious 
contrivances which my unelephantine mind cannot 

10 imagine. Likewise I leave the "lifts," unable as I 

am to conceive eighty elephants hoisted, each in his 

separate bandage, up to the light, as a ridiculus mus.° 

This morn at seven stood by my bed the great 

Parker and said, " Let us see the second wall of Rome." 

15 I went and saw. That is to say I saw somewhat 
and I saw where somewhat else ought to have been 
to see. 

3JC 3fC 3J5 5J» 3p ^ ^ 

I hope you were comfortable in my lodgings. I 
bade them prepare much meat and drink. 
20 Good-bye. 

Ever affectionately yours, 

J. R. Green. 

(58) John Richard Green to Mrs. a Court 

... I felt wonderfully hermit-like yesterday in 
the midst of a Roman mob. It was the birthday of 



COLLECTION OF LETTERS 157 

Rome — whatever that may mean — the commemo- 
ration of some Romulus or Remus business ; and so 
as St. Peter's has gone into darkness, and Pio TX 
won't light up, the government gave us an illumination 
of old Rome. I have never seen anything sp majes-5 
tieally weird in my life as the view of the Colosseum 
whether within or without — its lower arches one 
mass of crimson fire — its upper tiers all shadowy with 
pale green light. The Sacred Way was lit up in the 
same fashion, and then came the turn of the Forum 10 
— a sea of Dante-like lurid fragments and pillars and 
arches rose up pale and aghast as they must have arisen 
out of the great conflagration on which Nero looked 
down and fiddled. It was wonderfully sublime, but my 
interest lay rather with the crowd than with the sub- 15 
limities. 

It was so odd to see a huge crowd again in the 
desolate, solitary old Rome after all these centuries, 
since Cicero complained of the mob along the Sacred 
Way — to see the Colosseum buzzing again with twenty 20 
thousand Romans, and a great throng squeezing 
through the arch of Titus ! and a very pretty sight, too, 
as well as an odd one, for the contrast between a 
Roman mob and an English one is very pretty indeed. 
Xobody crowded, nobody squeezed, nobody rushed. 25 
We all moved gravely, quietly, as if we were walking 
in Church. There was none of the chatter of a French 
crowd, or of the rough horseplay of an English. I 



158 COLLECTION OF LETTERS 

think it is this innate gravity of the Southern temper 
which has struck me most in it, whether here or at 
Capri; it is this which gives the gentleman-like 
stamp (I can hardly use any other phrase) to the 

5 roughest fisher or the commonest trasteverino. 

You see your kind hope is realized, and I am man- 
aging to get infinite delight out of Rome. How lovely 
the spring is here ! My pleasantest days have been 
spent in the Campagna. I had no notion I should 

10 care for it, and I love it. I had alway shrunk from it 
as something dreary and uncanny (I don't like dreary 
things), and instead of this I find it a great broad 
reach of rolling down, scarred with tombs, aqueducts, 
arches, but carpeted with such deep grass, and crim- 

is soned with flowers. It was delightful to fling oneself 
down well out in the open, with Rome hanging like a 
dream in the distance, and far off the white snow line 
defining the Sabine range against the pure blue — to 
see the wild figures of the buffaloes tugging at the 

20 heavy yoke on the desolate road, or, above, to see my 
first eagle soaring over the soil of his own Rome. 
Imagine fortune having reserved me for this at thirty- 
five. 



COLLECTION OF LETTERS 159 

(59) John Richard Green to Mrs. Humphry Ward 

(1875.) 
(Fragments) 
******* 

Siena carried me right away ; it ranks with Verona 
as the two Italian towns I love most henceforth. But 
I am too tired to do Murray ,° so I wait till we can 
look over my photographs together when I come down 
to Oxford. As yet the "great" things in my run haves 
been the great circle of snow-mountains which swept 
round us at Siena and Milan, the fresh beauty of 
Verona with the snow covering the hills round it, the 
Emperor-reception at Venice, a crowd of golden gon- 
dolas with mediaeval gondoliers suddenly flooding the io 
waters of the Grand Canal like a picture of John Bellini 
or Carpaccio escaped from its frame and gone a little 
mad; my quiet two hours in the Arena Chapel at 
Padua, and my quiet hour in the Fra Angelico chapel 
at the Vatican (after which Raffaelle sinks to the 15 
vulgar and (illegible) level ; a great blood-red sunset in 
the Val d'Arno,° a great gold sunset in the llaremma 
(with a silver lake of olives in the foreground), and 
a great violet and purple and gold sunset all over 
the Campagna as we entered Rome; Siena itself, the 20 
great temples at Psestum after which Pericles sinks 
into a Greek of the Decadence; and Garibaldi 



160 COLLECTION OF LETTERS 

It is ever hideous to see him with a group of fawn- 
ing fools about him, but all the horrors of the group 
about him are fading out of my memory, and leaving 
nothing but the bare, brick-floored room, the camp 

5 bed, the worn homely face, so grand in its utter sim- 
plicity, the simple chatty address, all softened with the 
weariness of pain, the quiet kindly look of the small 
bright eyes, into which a light — such a light — stole 
once as he recalled a kind act of "you English, who 

iohave always been so good to me." I came away so 
hushed and stilled (the rest were infinitely amused !) 
from the presence of that greatness, that goodness ! 
Heroem vidi. 

Good-bye, dear M. I am very happy here. The 

15 A Courts, Halcombe, and other folk are here, so is 
Mahaffy, full of Greek things and refusing to look at 
Roman things, to refuse which in Rome argues a di- 
vine Hellenism. Very happy, but very tired and long- 
ing for home and the sight and sound of you all. 

20 Knocking about never does me good, but a few weeks' 
rest will put all straight. Little Book still sells 50 
a day, and is in its fourteenth thousand, whereof let 
us rejoice. Good-bye. Kiss Dolly and give my love to 
Humphry. In spite of all my misdeeds you must never 

25 doubt of my love for you. 

Ever yours, 

J. R. Green. 



COLLECTION OF LETTERS 161 

(60) Thomas Gray to Richard West 

Paris, April 12, 1739. 

Enfin done rue void a Paris. Mr. Walpole is gone 
out to supper at Lord Conway's, and here I remain 
alone, though invited too. Do not think I make a 
merit of writing to you preferably to a good supper : 5 
for these three days we have been here, have actually 
given me an aversion to eating in general. If hunger 
be the best sauce to meat, the French are certainly 
the worst cooks in the world ; for what tables we have 
seen have been so delicately served, and so profusely, io 
that, after rising from one of them, one imagines it 
impossible ever to eat again. And now, if I tell you 
all I have in my head, you will believe me mad, mais 
n'importe, courage, allons °! for if I wait till my head 
grow clear and settle a little, you may stay long enough 15 
for a letter. Six days have we been coming hither, 
which other people do in two ; they have not been dis- 
agreeable ones; through a fine, open country, admi- 
rable roads, and in an easy conveyance ° ; the inns not 
absolutely intolerable, and images quite unusual pre- 20 
senting themselves on all hands. At Amiens we saw 
the fine cathedral, and eat pate de perdrix ; passed 
through the park of Chantilly by the Duke of Bour- 
bon's palace, which we only beheld as we 4 passed ; 
broke down at Lusarche; stopt at St. Denis, saw all 25 
the beautiful monuments of the kings of France, and 

M 



162 COLLECTION OF LETTERS 

the vast treasures of the abbey, rubies, and emeralds 
as big as small eggs, crucifixes, and vows, crowns and 
reliquaries, of inestimable value ; but of all their cu- 
riosities the thing the most to our tastes, and which 

5 they indeed do the justice to esteem the glory of their 
collection, was a vase of an entire onyx, measuring at 
least five inches over, three deep, and of great thickness. 
It is at least two thousand years old, the beauty of 
the stone and sculpture upon it (representing the mys- 

ioteries of Bacchus) beyond expression admirable; we 
have dreamed of it ever since. The jolly old Bene- 
dictine, that showed us the treasures, had in his youth 
been ten years a soldier ; he laughed at all the relicks, 
was very full of stories, and mighty obliging. On 

15 Saturday evening we got to Paris, and were driv- 
ing through the streets a long while before we knew 
where we were. The minute we came, voila Milors 
Holdernesse, Conway, and his brother; all stayed 
supper, and till two o'clock in the morning, for here 

20 nobody ever sleeps ; it is not the way. Next day go 
to dine at Lord Holdernesse' s, there was the Abbe 
Prevot, author of the "Cleveland," and several other 
pieces much esteemed : the rest were English. At 
night we went to the "Pandore "; a spectacle liter- 

25 ally, for it is nothing but a beautiful piece of machin- 
ery of three scenes. The first represents the chaos, 
and by degrees the separation of the elements. The 
second, the temple of Jupiter, the giving of the box to 



COLLECTION OF LETTERS 163 

Pandora. The third, the opening of the box, and all 
the mischiefs that ensued. An absurd design, but 
executed in the highest perfection, and that in one of 
the finest theatres in the world ; it is the grande salle 
des machines in the Palais des Tuileries. Next day s 
dined at Lord Waldegrave's ; then to the opera. 
Imagine to yourself for the drama four acts entirely 
unconnected with each other, each founded on some 
little history, skilfully taken out of an ancient author, 
e.g. Ovid's Metamorphoses, etc., and with great 10 
address converted into a French piece of gallantry. 
For instance, that which I saw, called the "Ballet de 
la Paix," had its first act built upon the story of Nireus. 
Homer having said he was the handsomest man of his 
time, the poet, imagining such a one could not want 15 
a mistress, has given him one. These two come in 
and sing sentiment in lamentable strains, neither air 
nor recitative ; only, to one's great joy, they are every 
now and then interrupted by a dance, or (to one's 
great sorrow) by a chorus that borders the stage from 20 
one end to the other, and screams, past all power of 
simile to represent. The second act was Baucis and 
Philemon. Baucis is a beautiful young shepherdess, 
and Philemon her swain. Jupiter falls in love with her, 
but nothing will prevail upon her ; so it is all mighty 25 
well, and the chorus sing and dance the praises of Con- 
stancy. The two other acts were about Iphis and 
Ianthe, and the judgment of Paris. Imagine, I say, 



164 COLLECTION OF LETTERS 

all this transacted by cracked voices, trilling divisions 
upon two notes and a half, accompanied by an orches- 
tra of hnmstrums, and a whole house more attentive 
than if Farinelli sung, and you will almost have formed 

5 a just notion of the thing. Our astonishment at their 
absurdity you can never conceive ; we had enough to 
do to express it by screaming an hour louder than the 
whole dramatis pcrsonoe. We have also seen twice 
the Comedie Francaise ; first, the "Mahomet Second/' 

ioa tragedy that has had a great run of late; and the 
thing itself does not want its beauties, but the actors 
are beyond measure delightful. Mademoiselle Gaussin 
(M. Voltaire's Zara) has with a charming (though little) 
person the most pathetic tone of voice, the finest ex- 

15 pression in her face, and most proper action imagi- 
nable. There is also a Dufrene, who did the chief char- 
acter, a handsome man and a prodigious fine actor. 
The second we saw was the "Philosophe marie," and 
here they performed as well in comedy ; there is a 

2o Mademoiselle Quinault, somewhat in Mrs. Clive's 
way, and a Monsieur Grandval, in the nature of 
\Yilks,° who is the genteelest thing in the world. 
There are several more would be much admired in 
England, and many (whom we have not seen) much 

25 celebrated here. Great part of our time is spent in see- 
ing churches and palaces full of fine pictures, etc. For 
my part, I could entertain myself this month merely 
with the common streets and the people in them. . . . 



COLLECTION OF LETTERS 165 



(61) Thomas Gray to His Mother 

Florence, Dec. 19, N. S., 1739. 
We spent twelve days at Bologna, chiefly (as most 
travellers do) in seeing sights ; for as we knew no 
mortal there, and as it is no easy matter to get admis- 
sion into any Italian house, without very particular 5 
recommendations, we could see no company but in 
public places ; and there are none in that city but the 
churches. We saw, therefore, churches, palaces, and 
pictures from morning to night; and the 15th of this 
month set out for Florence, and began to cross the 10 
Apennine mountains ; we travelled among and upon 
them all that day, and, as it was but indifferent weather, 
were commonly in the middle of thick clouds, that 
utterly deprived us of a sight of their beauties ; for 
this vast chain of hills has its beauties, and all the 15 
vallies are cultivated ; even the mountains themselves 
are many of them so within a little of their very tops. 
They are not so horrid as the Alps, though pretty 
near as high; and the whole road is admirably well 
kept, and paved throughout, which is a length of four- 20 
score miles and more. We left the pope's dominions, 
and lay that night in those of the grand duke at 
Fiorenzuola, a paltry little town, at the foot of Mount 
Giogo, which is the highest of them all. Next morning 
we went up it ; the post-house is upon its very top, and 25 



166 COLLECTION OF LETTERS 

usually involved in clouds, or half buried in the snow. 
Indeed there was none of the last at the time we were 
there, but it was. still a dismal habitation. The descent 
is most excessively steep, and the turnings very short 
5 and frequent ; however, we performed it without any 
danger, and in coming down could dimly discover 
Florence, and the beautiful plain about it, through the 
mists; but enough to convince us, it must be one of 
the noblest prospects- upon earth in summer. That 

10 afternoon we got thither; and Mr. Mann,° the resi- 
dent, had sent his servant to meet us at the gates, and 
conduct us to his house. He is the best and most 
obliging person in the world. The next night we were 
introduced at the Prince of Craon's assembly (he has 

15 the chief power here in the grand duke's absence). 
The princess, and he, were extremely civil to the name 
of Walpole, so we were asked to stay supper, which 
is as much as to say, you may come and sup here when- 
ever you please; for after the first invitation this is 

20 always understood. We have also been at the Countess 
Saurez's, a favourite of the late duke, and one that 
gives the first movement to everything gay that is 
going forward here. ... In the meantime it is im- 
possible to want entertainment; the famous gallery, 

25 alone, is an amusement for months ; we commonly 
pass two or three hours every morning in it, and one 
has perfect leisure to consider all its beauties. You 
know it contains many hundred antique statues, such 



COLLECTION OF LETTERS 167 

as the whole world cannot match, besides the vast 
collection of paintings, medals, and precious stones, 
such as no other prince was ever master of; in short, 
all that the rich and powerful house of Medicis has in 
so many years got together. And besides this city 5 
abounds with so many palaces and churches, that you 
can hardly place yourself anywhere without having 
some fine one in view, or at least some statue or foun- 
tain, magnificently adorned; these undoubtedly are 
far more numerous than Genoa can pretend to ; yet, 10 
in its general appearance, I cannot think that Flor- 
ence equals it in beauty. Mr. Walpole is just come 
from being presented to the electress palatine dowager ; 
she is a sister of the late great duke's; a stately old 
lady, that never goes out but to church, and then she 15 
has guards, and eight horses to her coach. She re- 
ceived him with much ceremony, standing under a 
huge black canopy, and, after a few minutes talking, 
she assured him of her good will, and dismissed him. 
She never sees anybody but thus in form ; and so she 20 
passes her life, poor woman ! . . . 

Thomas Gray. 

(62) Thomas Gray to Mr. Nicholls 

It is long since that I heard you were gone in haste 
into Yorkshire on account of your mother's illness, 
and the same letter informed me that she was re- 25 



168 COLLECTION OF LETTERS 

covered, otherwise I had then wrote to you only to 
beg you would take care of her, and to inform you 
that I had discovered a thing very little known, which 
is, that in one's whole life one can never have any 
5 more than a single mother. You may think this is 
obvious, and (what you call) a trite observation. You 
are a green gosling ! I was at the same age (very near) 
as wise as you, and yet I never discovered this (with 
full evidence and conviction I mean) till it was too 

iolate. It is thirteen years ago, and seems but as yes- 
terday, and every day I live it sinks deeper into my 
heart. Many a corollary could I draw from this 
axiom for your use (not for my own), but I will leave 
you the merit of doing it for yourself. Pray tell me 

15 how your health is: I conclude it perfect, as I hear 
you offered yourself as a guide to Mr. Palgrave into 
the Sierra-Morena of Yorkshire. For me, I passed 
the end of May and all June in Kent, not disagreeably. 
In the west part of it, from every eminence, the eye 

20 catches some long reach of the Thames or Medway, 
with all their shipping; in the east the sea breaks in 
upon you, and mixes its white transient sails and glit- 
tering blue expanse with the deeper and brighter 
greens of the woods and corn. This sentence is so fine 

25 I am quite ashamed ; but no matter ! you must trans- 
late it into prose. Palgrave, if he heard it, would 
cover his face with his pudding sleeve. I do not tell 
you of the great and small beasts, and creeping things 



COLLECTION OF LETTERS 169 

innumerable, that I met with, because you do not sus- 
pect that this world is inhabited by anything but men, 
and women, and clergy, and such two-legged cattle. 
Now I am here again very disconsolate, and all alone, 
for Mr. Brown is gone, and the cares of this world are 5 
coming thick upon me : you, I hope, are better off, 
riding and walking in the woods of Studley, etc., etc. I 
must not wish for you here; besides I am going to 
town at Michaelmas, by no means for amusement. 

Thomas Gray. 10 

(63) Charles Lamb to Mr. Manning 

24th September, 1802. 

Since the date of my last letter, I have been a trav- 
eler. A strong desire seized me of visiting remote 
regions. My first impulse was to go and see Paris. 
It was a trivial objection to my aspiring mind, that 15 
I did not understand a word of the language, since I 
certainly intend some time in my life to see Paris, and 
equally certainly intend never to learn the language; 
therefore that could be no objection . . . my final 
resolve was a tour to the Lakes. I set out with Mary 20 
to Keswick, without giving Coleridge any notice, 
for my time being precious did not admit of it. He 
received us with all the hospitality in the world, and 
gave up his time to show us all the wonders of the 
country. He dwells upon a small hill by the side of 25 



170 COLLECTION OF LETTERS 

Keswick, in a comfortable house, quite enveloped on 
all sides by a net of mountains : great floundering 
bears and monsters they seemed, all couchant and 
asleep. We got in in the evening, traveling in a post- 

5 chaise from Penrith, in the midst of a gorgeous sun- 
shine, which transmuted all the mountains into colors, 
purple, etc., etc. We thought we had got into fairy- 
land. But that went off (as it never came again; 
while we stayed we had no more fine sunsets) ; and 

iowe entered Coleridge's comfortable study just in the 
dusk, when the mountains were all dark with clouds 
upon their heads. Such an impression I never re- 
ceived from objects of sight before, nor do I suppose 
that I ever can again. Glorious creatures, fine old 

15 fellows, Skiddaw, etc. I never shall forget ye, how 
ye lay about that night, like an intrenchment ; gone 
to bed, as it seemed for the night, but promising that 
ye were to be seen in the morning. Coleridge had got 
a blazing fire in his study ; which is a large, antique, 

20 ill-shaped room, with an old-fashioned organ, never 
played upon, big enough for a church, shelves of 
scattered folios, an ^Eolian harp, and an old sofa, half 
bed, etc. And all looking out upon the last^fading 
view of Skiddaw and his broad-breasted brethren: 

25 what a night ! . . . We have clambered up to the 
top of Skiddaw, and I have waded up the bed of 
Lodore. In fine, I have satisfied myself, that there 
is such a thing as that which tourists call romantic, 



COLLECTION OF LETTERS 171 

which I very much suspected before : they make such 
a spluttering about it, and toss their splendid epithets 
around them, till they give as dim a light as at four 
o'clock next morning the lamps do after an illumina- 
tion. Mary was excessively tired, when she got about 5 
half-way up Skiddaw, but we came to a cold rill (than 
which nothing can be imagined more cold), running 
over cold stones, and with the reinforcement of a 
draught of cold water she surmounted it most man- 
fully. Oh, its fine black head, and the bleak air atop 10 
of it, with a prospect of mountains all about and 
about, making you giddy ; and then Scotland afar off, 
and the border countries so famous in song and ballad ! 
It was a day that will stand out, like a mountain, I 
am sure, in my life. But I am returned (I have now 15 
been come home near three weeks; I was a month 
out), and you cannot conceive the degradation I felt 
at first, from being accustomed to wander free as air 
among mountains, and bathe in rivers without being 
controlled by anyone, to come home and work. I felt 20 
very little. I had been dreaming I was a very great 
man. But that is going off, and I shall conform in 
time to that state of life to which it has pleased God 
to call me. Besides, after all, Fleet Street and the 
Strand are better places to live in for good and all than 25 
Skiddaw. Still, I turn back to those great places, 
where I wandered about, participating in their great- 
ness. After all, I could not live in Skiddaw. I could 



172 COLLECTION OF LETTERS 

spend a year, two, three years among them, but I must 
have a prospect of seeing Fleet Street at the end of 
that time, or I should mope and pine away I know. 
Still, Skiddaw is a fine creature. . . . Farewell, my 
5 dear fellow. 

C. Lamb. 



VII. Invitations — Replies — Requests, etc. 
(64) Elizabeth Barrett Browning to John Kenyon 
Wimpole Street: Sunday evening (1838?) 

My dear Mr. Kenyon, — I am so sorry to hear of 
your going, and I not able to say ' good-bye' to you, 
that — I am not writing this note on that account. 

It is a begging note, and now I am wondering to 5 
myself whether you will think me very childish or 
womanish, or silly enough to be both together (I know 
your thoughts upon certain parallel subjects), if I go 
on to do my begging fully. 

I hear that you are going to Mr. Wordsworth's — to 10 
Rydal Mount — and I want you to ask for yourself, 
and then to send to me in a letter — by the post, I 
mean, two cuttings out of the garden — of myrtle or 
geranium ; I care very little which, or what else. Only 
I say 'myrtle' because it is less given to die, and I say 15 
two to be sure of my chances of saving one. Will you ? 
You would please me very much by doing it; and 
certainly not displease me by refusing to do it. Your 
broadest 'no' would not sound half so strange to me 

173 



174 COLLECTION OF LETTERS 

as my ' little crooked thing ' does to you ; but you see 
everybody in the world is fanciful about something, 
and why not E. B. B. ? 

Dear Mr. Kenyon, I have a book of yours — M. 
5 Rio's. If you want it before you go, just write in 
two words, 'Send it/ or I shall infer from your silence 
that I may keep it until you come back. No necessity 
for answering this otherwise. Is it as bad as asking for 
autographs, or worse? At any rate believe me in 
10 earnest this time — besides being, with every wish for 
your enjoyment of mountains and lakes and 'cherry 

trees/ 

Ever affectionately yours, 

E. B. B. 

(65) Rossetti to Aunt Charlotte 

15 14 Chatham Place, Monday, August 1854. 

My dear Aunt Charlotte, — I am afraid you will 
guess, before reading this letter, what it is likely to 
relate to. I am in very great difficulty for money, 
and unless by your kind assistance (if you are able to 

20 afford it me) really do not know how to extricate my- 
self from it. I have two water-colours in hand, and 
am beginning an oil-picture. The last, and one of the 
former, I believe I may consider already sold (to Messrs. 
Ruskin and MacCracken) as soon as they are finished : 

25 but meanwhile I am utterly at loss for the means of 



COLLECTION OF LETTERS 175 

getting models etc. to carry them on. One of the 
water-colours, at any rate, I hope will not be very long 
before it is finished, if I am only able to go on with it 
without being utterly swamped for want of money. 
I assure you I have not forgotten your kindness last s 
year in lending me £12, nor my promise to return the 
loan ; but I assure you that this has been hitherto im- 
possible. If you can and will now assist me again, and 
I am thus enabled to get through with the works I have 
in hand, I have every reason to hope that I shall then 10 
have it in my power (as I most sincerely wish and in- 
tend) to return you, if not all at once at least by degrees, 
both this and the former loan. It is my hope indeed 
to return one day all that you have so kindly lent me 
from time to time ; but I feel almost discouraged from is 
saying so, lest, in my present inability to do so, it should 
seem like mere pretence. 

I have long been hoping to get through with some- 
thing, and to obtain some money without the necessity 
of trespassing again on your kindness. But I find now 20 
that, unless I do so, I can see before me no means of 
proceeding with my work; besides that some rent 
which I already owe here is being continually applied 
for, and worrying me to such an extent as to deprive 
me of the peace of mind necessary for working well. 25 
Nor, even had I paid this rent, could I get rid of one 
source of expense by leaving these rooms — at least 
not without great detriment to my work, besides great 



176 COLLECTION OF LETTERS 

interruption — since the oil-picture I am beginning is 
an open-air scene, requiring absolutely a large amount of 
light, which I should have difficulty in finding elsewhere 
as well as here. 
5 Could you lend me £25, or if possible £30? But 
perhaps I am asking much more than I have any right 
to ask, or than your circumstances (even if you are 
willing again to afford me this chance) will permit you 
to grant. Less than £20 it would be of little service 

io to me to ask, as it would be merely to fall into difficulties 
again immediately, before I had been able to make any 
considerable progress with my pictures. 

I know you must indeed be weary of applications like 
this from me, and am almost hopeless of my ever making 

15 that way in my profession which I ought to make, and 
placing myself in an independent position. But, if I am 
only able to get my present works done, no time could 
well be more favourable than the present for making 
a sure step in advance, as anything I finish now is 

20 almost if not quite certain of sale. 

I must now leave what I have said to your considera- 
tion. If you consider yourself justified in rendering 
me this assistance, I know your kindness too well 
to suppose that you will not do so. And I hope indeed 

25 that you may think so ; since it is the only means I 
can see of avoiding a complete interruption to my work 
at a moment when it is most important to me that I 
should continue it. When you were last in town I was 



COLLECTION OF LETTERS 111 

still hoping to avoid the necessity of making this re- 
quest, but I find now that there is really no other way. 
I shall await your answer roost anxiously — and remain 
Your affectionate Nephew 

D. G. Rossetti. s 

(66) Charles Lamb to Samuel Taylor Coleridge 

July, 1797. 
I discern a possibility of my paying you a visit next 
week. May I, can I, shall I come so soon ? Have you 
room for me, leisure for me ? and are you pretty well ? 
Tell me all this honestly — immediately. And by what io 
day coach could I come soonest and nearest to Stowey ?° 
A few months hence may suit you better ; certainly me, 
as well. If so, say so. I long, I yearn, w T ith all the 
longings of a child do I desire to see you, to come among 
you — to see the young philosopher, to thank Sara° for 15 
her last year's invitation in person — to read your 
tragedy — to read over together our little book — to 
breathe fresh air . . . There is a sort of sacrilege in my 
letting such ideas slip out of my mind and memory. 
Still that Richardson remaineth — a thorn in the side 20 
of Hope, when she would lean toward Stowey. Here 
I w T ill leave off, for I dislike to fill this paper (which 
involves a question so connected with my heart and 
soul) with meaner matter, or subjects to me less interest- 
ing. I can talk, as I can think, nothing else. 25 

C. Lamb. 

N 



.178 COLLECTION OF LETTERS 

(67) Charles Lamb to Samuel Taylor Coleridge 

(Late in) July 1797. 

I am scarcely yet so reconciled to the loss of you, or 
so subsided into my wonted uniformity of feeling, as to 
sit calmly down to think of you and write to you. But I 

5 reason myself into the belief that those few and pleas- 
ant holidays shall not have been spent in vain. I feel 
improvement in the recollection of many a casual con- 
versation. The names of Tom Poole, of Wordsworth 
and his good sister, with thine and Sara's, are become 

io "familiar in my mouth as household words." You 
would make me very happy, if you think W. has no 
objection, by transcribing for me that Inscription of 
his. I have some scattered sentences ever floating on 
my memory, teasing me that I cannot remember more 

15 of it. You may believe I will make no improper use 
of it. Believe me I can think now of many subjects on 
which I had planned gaining information from you; 
but I forgot my " treasure's worth" while I possessed it. 
Your leg is now become to me a matter of much more 

20 importance ; and many a little thing, which when I 
was present with you seemed scarce to indent my 
notice, now presses painfully on my remembrance. Is 
the Patriot come? Are Wordsworth and his sister 
gone yet? I was looking out for John Thelwall all 

25 the way from Bridgewater ; and had I met him, I think 



COLLECTION OF LETTERS 179 

it would have moved almost me to tears. You will 
oblige me, too, by sending me my great-coat, which I 
left behind in the oblivious state the mind is thrown 
into at parting. Is it not ridiculous that I sometimes 
envy that great-coat lingering so cunningly behind ! 5 
At present I have none : so send it to me by a Stowey 
w T agon, if there be such a thing, directing for C. L., 
No. 45, Chapel Street, Pentonville, near London. 
But above all, that Inscription ! It will recall to me 
the tones of all your voices, and with them many a 10 
remembered kindness to one who could and can repay 
you all only by the silence of a grateful heart. I could 
not talk much when I was with you ; but my silence was 
not sullenness, nor I hope from any bad motive ; but, in 
truth, disuse has made me awkward at it. I know 1 15 
behaved myself, particularly at Tom Poole's, and at 
Cruikshank's, most like a sulky child; but company 
and converse are strange to me. It was kind in you 
all to endure me as you did. 

Are you and your dear Sara — to me also very dear, 20 
because very kind — agreed yet about the management 
of little Hartley? And how go on the little rogue's 
teeth ! I will see White to-morrow and he shall send 
you information on that matter ; but as perhaps I can 
do it as well, after talking with him, I will keep this 25 
letter open. 

My love and thanks to you and all of you. 
Wednesday Evening. C. L. 



180 COLLECTION OF LETTERS 

(68) Charles Lamb to Thomas Manning 

(November 15, 1805.) 

Dear Manning, — Certainly you could not have 
called at all hours from two till ten, for we have been 
only out of an evening Monday and Tuesday in this 
5 week. But if you think you have, your thought shall 
go for the deed. We did pray for you on Wednesday 
night. Oysters unusually luscious ; pearls of extraor- 
dinary magnitude found in them. I have made 
bracelets of them ; given them in clusters to ladies, 
io Last night we went out in despite, because you were not 
come at your hour. 

This night we shall be at home ; so shall we certainly, 
both, on- Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. 
Take your choice, mind I don't say of one : but choose 
15 which evening you will not come, and come the other 
four. Doors open at five o'clock. Shells forced about 
nine. Every gentleman smokes or not as he pleases. 

C. L. 

(69) Charles Lamb to William Godwin 

Thursday Morning, December 4, 1800. 

20 Dear Sir, — I send this speedily after the heels of 
( \>oper (O ! the dainty expression) to say that Mary is 
obliged to stay at home on Sunday to receive a female 



COLLECTION OF LETTERS 181 

friend, from whom I am equally glad to escape. So 
that we shall be by ourselves. I write, because it may 
make some difference in your marketing, etc. 

C. L. 

I am sorry to put you to the expense of twopence 5 
postage. But I calculate thus : if Mary comes she 
will eat — 

Beef 2 plates, hi. 

Batter Pudding 1 do 2d. 

Beer, a pint, 2d. 10 

Wine, 3 glasses, lie/. I drink no wine ! 

Chestnuts, after dinner 2d. 

Tea and supper at moderate 

calculation, 9c/. 

2,s\6c/. 15 

From which deduct 2d. postage 

2sM. 

You are a clear gainer by her not coming. 

(70) Matthew Arnold to Lady de Rothschild 

Chester Square, 
Wednesday Morning (December 1865). 20 

My dear Lady de Rothschild, — Your kind but 
imprudent invitation transported the boys with ex- 
citement, but in the first place they have engagements 
here to-morrow and Monday which they must keep ; 
in the second, two youthful schoolboys are, for all bin 



182 COLLECTION OF LETTERS 

their own parents, a luxury to be enjoyed with modera- 
tion and for no unnecessary number of days at a time. 
Heaven forbid that any of them should be represented 
as having histrionic talent ; on the contrary, they ap- 
5 pear, giggle, and look sheepish, according to the most 
approved fashion of youthful actors. What I said to 
your daughters was that their musical turn made the 
songs which generally occur in the pieces they choose 
for acting, no difficulty for them. 

10 When is the performance to take place ? They might 
come down on Tuesday (with a maid) if that would give 
them time to learn their parts before the play came off. 
The two must be Trevenen and Dicky, for little Tom 
has one of his winter coughs, and is a fixture at home. 

15 But I really think you hardly know the avalanche you 
are attracting, and that you had better leave it. I 
must go for a few days to Westmoreland, though I can 
ill spare the time, but my mother is not very well, and 
it is nearly a year and a half since I saw her. 

20 I hope your invalid is, at least, no worse. Many, 
many happy years to you. — I am always, dear Lady de 
Rothschild, sincerely yours, Matthew Arnold. 

(71) Thomas Henry Huxley to Tyndall 

4 Marlborough Place, Jan. 11, 1875. 

25 My dear old Shylock, — My argosies have come 
in, and here is all that was written in the bond ! If you 



COLLECTION OF LETTERS 183 

want the pound of flesh too, you know it is at your 
service, and my Portia won't raise that pettifogging 
objection to shedding a little blood into the bargain, 
which that other one did. 

Ever yours faithfully, 5 

T. H. Huxley. 

(72) Thomas Carlyle to G. Remington 

Chelsea, 12 November, 1852. 

Dear Sir, — It is with great reluctance that I 
venture to trouble you in any way; but a kind of 
necessity compels me ; and I trust your good nature 10 
will excuse it in a distressed neighbour. 

We have the misfortune to be people of weak health 
in this house ; bad sleepers in particular ; and exceed- 
ingly sensible in the night hours to disturbances from 
sound. On your premises for some time past there is 15 
a Cock,° by no means particularly loud or discordant ; 
whose crowing would of course be indifferent or insignif- 
icant to persons of sound health and nerves ; but, alas, 
it often enough keeps us unwillingly awake here, and 
on the whole gives a degree of annoyance which except 20 
to the unhealthy, is not easily conceivable. 

If you would have the goodness to remove that small 
animal or in any way render him inaudible from 
midnight to breakfast time, such charity would 
work a notable relief to certain persons here, and be 25 



184 COLLECTION OF LETTERS 

thankfully acknowledged by them as an act of good 
neighbourship. 

With many apologies, and neighbourly respects, 
I remain, Yours sincerely, 
s T. Carlyle. 

(73) Thomas Carlyle to Robt. Browning 

Chelsea, 1 Deer., 1841. 

My dear Sir, — The sight of your card instead of 

yourself, the other day when I came dow T n stairs, was a 

real vexation to me. The orders here are rigorous. 

io " Hermetically sealed till 2 o'clock !" But had you 

chanced to ask for my Wife, she would have guessed 

that you formed an exception, and would have brought 

me down. W T e must try it another way. For example : 

The evenings at present, when not rainy, are bright 

15 with moonlight. We are to be at home on Friday 

night, and alone : could you not be induced to come and 

join us ? Tea is at six or half -past six. — If you say 

nothing, let us take' silence for yes, and expect you ! 

Or if another night than Friday will suit you better, 

20 propose another ; and from me in like manner, let no 

answer mean yes and welcome. At any rate contrive 

to see me. 

Yours very truly, 

T. Carlyle. 



COLLECTION OF LETTERS 185 

(74) William Cow per to Lady Hcskcth ° 

Olney, Feb. 9, 1786. 

My dearest Cousin, — I have been impatient to tell 
you that I am impatient to see you again. Mrs. 
Unwin° partakes with me in all my feelings upon this 
subject, and longs also to see you. I should have told 5 
you so by the last post. . . . And now, my dear, let 
me tell you once more, that your kindness in promising 
us a visit has charmed us both. I shall see you again. 
I shall hear your voice. We shall take walks together. 
I will show you my prospects, the hovel, the alcove, 10 
the Ouse,° and its banks, every thing that I have 
described. I anticipate the pleasure of those days not 
very far distant, and feel a part of it at this moment. 
Talk not of an inn ! Mention it not for your life ! We 
have never had so many visitors, but we could easily 15 
accommodate them all ; though we have received 
Unwin, and his wife, and his sister, and his son all at 
once< My dear, I will not let you come till the end of 
May, or beginning of June, because before that time 
my greenhouse will not be ready to receive us, and it is 20 
the only pleasant room belonging to us. When the 
plants go out, we go in. I line it with mats, and 
spread the floor with mats ; and there you shall sit with 
a bed of mignonette at your side, and a hedge of honey- 
suckles, roses, and jasmine; and I will make you a ,25 
bouquet of myrtle every day. Sooner than the time I 



186 COLLECTION OF LETTERS 

mention the country will not be in complete beauty. 
And I will tell you what you shall find at your first 
entrance. Imprimis, as soon as you have entered the 
vestibule, if you cast a look on either side of you, you 

5 shall see on the right hand a box of my making. It is 
the box in which have been lodged all my hares, and 
in which lodges Puss° at present : but he, poor fellow, is 
worn out with age, and promises to die before you can 
see him. On the right hand stands a cupboard, the 

10 work of the same author ; it was once a dovecage, but 
I transformed it. Opposite to you stands a table, which 
I also made : but a merciless servant having scrubbed it 
until it became paralytic, it serves no purpose now 
but of ornament ; and all my clean shoes stand under 

15 it. On the left hand, at the further end of this superb 
vestibule, you will find the door of the parlour, into 
which I will conduct you, and where I will introduce 
you to Mrs. Unwin, unless we should meet her before, and 
where we will be as happy as the day is long. Order 

20 yourself, my cousin, to the Swan at Newport, and 
there you shall find me ready to conduct you to Olney. 

My dear, I have told Homer ° what you say about casks 
and urns, and have asked him, whether he is sure that 
it is a cask in which Jupiter keeps his wine. He swears 

25 that it is a cask, and that it will never be any thing 
better than a cask to eternity. So if the god is content 
with it, we must even wonder at his taste, and be so too. 
Adieu ! my dearest, dearest cousin. W. C. 



VIII. "Quips and Cranks" 

(75) Charles Lamb to Thomas Manning 

February 19, 1803. 

My dear -Manning, — The general scope of your 
letter afforded no indications of insanity, but some 
particular points raised a scruple. For God's sake don't 
think any more of "Independent Tartary." ^Yhat ares 
you to do among such Ethiopians? Is there no 
lineal descendant of Prester John? Is the chair 
empty? Is the sword unswayed? Depend upon it 
they'll never make you their king, as long as any branch 
of that great stock is remaining. I tremble for your io 
Christianity. . . . Read Sir John Mandeville's ° 
travels to cure you, or come over to England. There 
is a Tartarman now exhibiting at Exeter Change. 
Come and talk with him, and hear what he says first. 
Indeed he is no very favorable specimen of his country- 15 
men ! . . . Some say, they are Cannibals ; and then, 
conceive a Tartar-fellow eating my friend, and adding 
the cool malignity of mustard and vinegar ! I am afraid 
't is the reading of Chaucer has misled you ; his foolish 
stories about Cambuscan, and the ring, and the horse 20 

187 



188 COLLECTION OF LETTERS 

of brass. Believe me, there are no such things, 't is all 
the poet's invention; but if there were such darling 
things as old Chaucer sings, I would up behind you on 
the horse of brass, and frisk off for Prester John's 
5 country. But these are all tales ; a horse of brass never 
flew, and a king's daughter never talked with birds! 
The Tartars, really, are a cold, insipid, smouchy set. 
You'll be sadly moped (if you are not eaten) among 
them. Pray try and cure yourself. Take hellebore 

10 (the counsel is Horace's, 't was none of my thought 
originally). Shave yourself oftener. Eat no saffron, 
for saffron-eaters contract a terrible Tartar-like yellow. 
Pray, to avoid the fiend. Eat nothing that gives the 
heart-burn. Shave the upper lip. Go about like an 

15 European. Read no books of voyages (they are noth- 
ing but lies), only now and then a romance, to keep 
the fancy under. Above all, don't go to any sights 
of wild beasts. That has been your ruin. Accustom 
yourself to write familiar letters, on common subjects, 

20 to your friends in England, such as are of a moderate 
understanding. . . . Have a care, my dear friend, of 
Anthropophagi ! ° their stomachs are always craving. 
'T is terrible to be weighed out at fivepence a-pound; 
to sit at table (the reverse of fishes in Holland) not as a 

25 guest, but as a meat. 

God bless you : do come to England. x\ir and exer- 
cise may do great things. Talk with some minister, 
Whv not vour father? 



COLLECTION OF LETTERS 189 

God dispose all for the best. I have discharged my 

c *- ■ Your sincere friend, 

, C. Lamb. 

(76) Charles Lamb to Thomas Manning 

16, Mitre Court Buildings, 5 

Saturday, February 24, 1805. 

Dear Manning, — I have been very unwell since 
I saw you : a sad depression of spirits, a most un- 
accountable nervousness ; from which I have been par- 
tially relieved by an odd accident. You knew Dick io 
Hopkins, the swearing scullion of Caius? This fellow, 
by industry and agility, has thrust himself into the im- 
portant situations (no sinecures, believe me) of cook to 
Trinity Hall and Caius College: and the generous 
creature has contrived, with the greatest delicacy 15 
imaginable, to send me a present of Cambridge brawn. 
What makes it the more extraordinary is, that the man 
never saw me in his life that I know of. I suppose he 
has heard of me. I did not immediately recognize the 
donor ; but one of Richard's cards, which had accidently 20 
fallen into the straw, detected him in a moment. Dick, 
you know, was always remarkable for flourishing. 
His card imports, that " orders (to wit, for brawn") 
from any part of England, Scotland, or Ireland, will be 
duly executed,' ' etc. At first, I thought of declining 25 
the present ; but Richard knew my blind side when he 



190 COLLECTION OF LETTERS 

pitched upon brawn. 'T is of all my hobbies the 
supreme in the eating way. He might have sent sops 
from the pan, skimmings, crumpets, chips, hog's lard, 
the tender brown judiciously scalped from a fillet of 

5 veal (dexterously replaced by a salamander), the tops 
of asparagus, fugitive livers, run away gizzards of fowls, 
the eyes of martyred pigs, . . . the red spawn of 
lobsters, leverets' ears, and such pretty fllchings com- 
mon to cooks ; but these had been ordinary presents, 

10 the everyday courtesies of dish-washers to their sweet- 
hearts. Brawn was a noble thought. It is not every 
common gullet-fancier that can properly esteem it. 
It is like a picture of one of the choice old Italian masters. 
Its gusto is of that hidden sort. As Wordsworth 

15 sings of a modest poet, — " you must love him, ere to 
you he will seem worthy of your love"; so brawn, 
you must taste it ere to you it will seem to have any 
taste at all. But 't is nuts to the adept : those that will 
send out their tongue and feelers to find it out. It 

20 will be wooed, and not unsought be won. Now, 
ham-essence, lobsters, turtle, such popular minions, 
absolutely court you, lay themselves out to strike you 
at first smack, like one of David's pictures (they call 
him Darveed) compared with the plain russet-coated 

25 wealth of a Titian or a Correggio, as I illustrated 
above. Such are the obvious glaring heathen virtues 
of a corporation dinner, compared with the reserved 
collegiate worth of brawn. Do me the favor to leave 



COLLECTION OF LETTERS 191 

off the business which you may be at present upon, 
and go immediately to the kitchens of Trinity and 
Caius, and make my most respectful compliments to 
Mr. Richard Hopkins, and assure him that his brawn 
is most excellent ; and that I am moreover obliged to 5 
him for his innuendo about salt water and bran, which 
I shall not fail to improve. I leave it to you whether 
you shall choose to pay him the civility of asking him 
to dinner while you stay in Cambridge, or in whatever 
other way you may best like to show your gratitude 10 
to my friend. Richard Hopkins, considered in many 
points of view, is a very extraordinary character. 
Adieu. I hope to see you to supper in London soon, 
where we will taste Richard's brawn, and drink his 
health in a cheerful but moderate cup. We have not 15 
many such men in any rank of life as Mr. R. Hopkins. 
Crisp, the barber, of St. Mary's was just such another. 
I wonder he never sent me any little token, some chest- 
nuts, or a puff, or two pound of hair : just to remember 
him by. Gifts are like nails. Praesens ut absens ; 20 
that is, your present makes amends for your absence. 

Yours, 

C. Lamb. 

(77) Charles Lamb to Thomas Manning 

(July 27, 1805.) 

Dear Archimedes, — Things have gone on badly 25 
with thy ungeometrical friend; but they are on the 



192 COLLECTION OF LETTERS 

turn. My old housekeeper has shown signs of convales- 
cence, and will shortly resume the power of the keys, so 
I shan't be cheated of my tea and liquors. Wind in 
the West, which promotes tranquillity. Have leisure 
snow to anticipate seeing thee again. Have been 
taking leave of tobacco in a rhyming address. Had 
thought that vein had long since closed up. Find I can 
rhyme and reason too. Think of studying mathematics, 
to restrain the fire of my genius, which G. D. recom- 

10 mends. Have frequent bleedings at the nose, which 
shows plethoric. Maybe shall try the sea myself, 
that great scene of wonders. Got incredibly sober 
and regular; shave oftener, and hum a tune, to signify 
cheerfulness and gallantry. 

15 Suddenly disposed to sleep, having taken a quart of 
pease with bacon and stout. Will not refuse Nature, 
who has done such things for me ! 

Nurse ! don't call me unless Mr. Manning comes. 
— W T hat ! the gentleman in spectacles ? — Yes. 

20 Dormit. C * L ' 

Saturday, 
Hot noon. 

(78) Thomas Henry Huxley to His Youngest Daughter 

Hotel Britannique, Naples, Dec. 22, 1884. 

But we have had no letters from home for a week. 
25 . . . Moreover, if we don't hear to-day or to-morrow we 



COLLECTION OF LETTERS 193 

shall begin to speculate on the probability of an earth- 
quake having swallowed up 4 M.P.° " with all the young 
barbarians at play — And I their sire trying to get a 
Roman holiday" ° (Byron). For we are going to Rome 
to-morrow, having had enough of Naples, the general 5 
effect of which city is such as would be produced by 
the sight of a beautiful woman who had not washed or 
dressed her hair for a month. Climate, on the whole, 
more variable than that of London. 

We had a lovely drive three days ago to Cumse, a 10 
perfect summer's day ; since then sunshine, heat, cold 
wind, calms all durcheinander, with thunder and light- 
ning last night to complete the variety. 

The thermometer and barometer are not fixed to the 
walls here, as they would be jerked off by the sudden 15 
changes. At first, it is odd to see them dancing about 
the hall. But you soon get used to it, and the porter 
sees that they don't break themselves. 

With love to Nettie and Harry, and hopes that the 
pudding will be good. 20 

Ever your loving father, 

T. H. Huxley. 

(79) Thomas Henry Huxley to J. C. Kitton 

Hodelsea, April 12, 1893. 

A long series of cats has reigned over my household 
for the last forty years, or thereabouts, but I am sorry 25 



194 COLLECTION OF LETTERS 

that I have no pictorial or other record of their physical 
and moral excellences. 

The present occupant of the throne is a large, young, 
gray Tabby — Oliver by name. Not that he is in any 
5 sense a protector, for I doubt whether he has the heart 
to kill a mouse. However, I saw him catch and eat 
the first butterfly of the season, and trust that this 
germ of courage, thus manifested, may develop with 
age into efficient mousing. 

10 As to sagacity, I should say that his judgment re- 
specting the warmest place and the softest cushion 
in a room is infallible — his punctuality at meal times 
is admirable ; and his pertinacity in jumping on people's 
shoulders, till they give him some of the best of what is 

15 going, indicates great firmness. 

(80) Thomas Henry Huxley to His Youngest Daughter 
Hodelsea, Eastbourne, Jan. 8, 1893. 

I wish you would write seriously to M .° She 

is not behaving well to Oliver. I have seen handsomer 

kittens, but few more lively, and energetically destruc- 

2otive. Just now he scratched away at something that 

M says cost 13s. 6d. a yard — and reduced more 

or less of it to combings. 

M therefore excludes him from the dining-room, 

and all those opportunities of higher education which he 
25 would naturally have in my house. 



COLLECTION OF LETTERS 195 

I have argued that it is as immoral to place 13.9. Grf. a 
yardnesses within reach of kittens as to hang bracelets 
and diamond rings in the front garden. But in vain. 
Oliver is banished — and the protector (not Oliver) 
is sat upon. — In truth and justice aid your Pa. 5 

(81) Thomas Henry Huxley to His Youngest Daughter 

Athenaeum Club, May 17, 1892. 

Dearest Babs, — As I was going along Upper 

Thames Street just now, I saw between Nos. 170 

primary parenthesis 
and 211 (but you would like to know what I was going 10 

along that odorous street for. Well, it was to inquire 

2nd p. 
how the pen with which I am now writing — (you see 
it is a new-fangled fountain pen, warranted to cure the 

2nd p. 15 

worst writing and always spell properly) — works, 
because it would not work properly this morning. And 

3rd p. 

the nice young woman who took it from me — (as 

3rd p. 20 

who should say you old foodie !) inked her own fingers 

4th p. 

enormously (which I told her I was pleased they were 

4th p. 

her fingers rather than mine) — But she only smole. 25 

5th p. 

(Close by was another shop where they sold hose — 



196 COLLECTION OF LETTERS 

6 or 7 p. n. p. 

(indiarubber, not knitted) — and warranted to let 

water through, not keep it out) ; and I asked for a 

garden syringe, thinking such things likely to be kept 

5 by hosiers of that sort — and they said they had not 

N.n. p. 

any, but found they had a remnant cheap (price 3s.) 

which is less than many people pay for the other hosiers' 
end of pp. 
iohose) a doorpost at the side of the doorway of some 
place of business with this remarkable notice : 
Ruling Girls Wanted. 
Don't you think you had better apply at once? 
Jack will give you a character, I am sure, on the side 
15 of the art of ruling, and I will speak for the science — 
also of hereditary (on mother's side) instinct. 

Well, I am not sure about the pen yet — but there 
is no room for any more. 

Ever your loving 
20 Dad. 

Epistolary composition on the model of a Glad- 
stonian speech to a deputation on women's suffrage. 



IX. About People and Books 
(82) Jane Welsh Carlyle to Helen Welsh 

Chelsea : March 1843. 

Now do you deserve that I should send you any 
letter, any autograph, anything, thou graceless, ' grace- 
ful Miss Welsh ' ? I think not ; but ' If everyone had 
his deserts, which of us should escape whipping ? ' 5 
And besides I see not what virtues remain possible for 
me, unless it be the passive ones of patience and for- 
giveness ; for which, thank Heaven, there is always 
open course enough in this otherwise tangled world ! 

Three of the autographs, which I send you to-day, 10 
are first-rate. A Yankee would almost give a dollar 
apiece for them. Entire characteristic letters from 
Pickwick, Lytton Bulwer, and Alfred Tennyson ; the 
last, the greatest genius of the three, though the vulgar 
public have not as yet recognised him for such. Get 15 
his poems if you can, and read the ' Ulysses,' ' Dora,' the 
1 Vision of Sin,' and you will find that we do not over- 
rate him. Besides he is a very handsome man, and a 
noble-hearted one, with something of the gipsy in his 
appearance, which, for me, is perfectly charming. 20 

197 



198 COLLECTION OF LETTERS 

Babbie never saw him, unfortunately, or perhaps I 
should say fortunately, for she must have fallen in love 
with him on the spot, unless she be made absolutely 
of ice ; and then men of genius have never anything to 
5 keep wives upon ! 

Jane Carlyle. 

(83) W. W. Story to Charles Eliot Norton 

Diablerets, Aug. 15th, 1861. 
******* 

You have before this heard of course of the death of 
Mrs. Browning, though the news had not reached you 

iowhen you wrote. This was sudden and unexpected 
at the last, for though she had always been so frail that 
one wondered what kept soul and body together at all, 
we had become so accustomed to thinking of her as 
different from all others in the matter of health that 

15 we began to think that she might even outlast us. 
Fifteen years ago her physicians told her that life was 
impossible, yet she had lived and borne a child and 
written immortal verses and shown an amazing energy 
of spirit and intellect. But last winter I had many fears 

20 that she was failing. The death of her father had 
struck her a hard blow ; then her sister's death struck 
her again, as it were, when she was down, and I feared 
that her vital energy, great as it was, might not resist. 
Yet she revived and, as spring came on, went out to 



COLLECTION OF LETTERS 199 

drive, and, though weak, began to gather herself to* 
gether again, even at one time projecting a journey to 
Paris. This however was impossible. Yet she went 
to Florence by vettura and did not suffer more than 
usual, and we were all hesitating, at Leghorn, whether 5 
we should not abandon our scheme of Switzerland for 
another summer together in Siena when the fatal news 
of her death reached us. Browning was to have come 
down to spend Sunday w T ith us, but on Saturday night 
she was attacked with difficulty of breathing, and at 10 
dead of night he w T as forced to run for a physician, Dr. 
Wilson, who remained with her all night and took a 
very gloomy view. The morning brought relief, and, 
though weaker, she declared she was otherwise as well 
as ever. They talked over their plans for the future, 15 
decided to go to Siena for the summer with us, agreed 
to give up Casa Guidi and take a villa in Florence to 
return to in the spring and autumn. Being in treaty 
for an apartment in Palazzo Barberini at Rome for six 
years, they discussed the question of how they should 20 
furnish it. During the subsequent days she constantly 
came into the salon and lay on the sofa there all day — 
until Friday, when Lytton stayed all the morning there 
talking with B., so that she did not come out. On 
Friday evening they had again a long talk about their 25 
future plans, and she went to bed as well as she had 
been in general respects, though there were some few 
symptoms which troubled B., such as raising now and 



200 COLLECTION OF LETTERS 

then her hands and holding them long before her, and 
also a slight wandering of the mind at intervals and as 
she was just about to doze. But this wandering he 
attributed to the morphine, which by order of Dr. W. 

5 she was obliged to take in larger quantities than those 
she was accustomed to. At about three o'clock he was 
startled by her breathing and woke her, but she said 
she was better, and reasoned so quietly and justly about 
her state that his fears were again subdued. She talked 

10 with him and jested and gave expression to her love for 
him in the tenderest words ; then, feeling sleepy, and he 
supporting her in his arms, she fell into a doze. In a 
few minutes, suddenly, her head dropped forward. 
He thought she had fainted, but she had gone for ever. 

15 She had passed as if she had fallen asleep, without pain, 
without thought of death. After death she looked, as 
Browning told me, like a young girl ; all the outlines 
rounded and filled up, all traces of disease effaced, and 
a smile on her face so living that they could not for 

20 hours persuade themselves she was really dead. 

We went immediately to Florence, and it was a sad 
house enough. There stood the table with her letters 
and books as usual, and her little chair beside it, and 
in her portfolio a half -finished letter to Mine. Mario, 

25 full of noble words about Italy. Yes, it was for Italy 
that her last words were written ; for her dear Italy 
were her last aspirations. The death of Cavour had 
greatly affected her. She had wept many tears for 



COLLECTION OF LETTERS 201 

him, and been a real mourner. This agitation undoubt- 
edly weakened her and perhaps was the last feather 
that broke her down. 'The cycle is complete/ as 
Browning said, looking round the room ; ' here we came 
fifteen years ago ; here Pen° was born ; here Ba° wrote 5 
her poems for Italy. She used to w T alk up and down 
this verandah in the summer evenings, when, revived 
by the southern air, she first again began to enjoy her 
out-doors life. Every day she used to walk with me or 
drive with me, and once even walked to Bellosguerdo 10 
and back; that was when she was strongest. Little 
by little, as I now see, that distance was lessened, the 
active out-doors life restricted, until walking had 
finally ceased. We saw from these windows the return 
of the Austrians ; they wheeled round this corner and 15 
came down this street with all their cannon, just as 
she describes it in " Casa Guidi." Last week when we 
came to Florence I said : " We used, you know, to walk 
on this verandah so often — come and walk up and 
down once. Just once," I urged, and she came to the 20 
window and took two steps on it. But it fatigued her 
too much, and she went back and lay down on the sofa 
— that was our last walk. Only the night she w T ent 
away for ever she said she thought we must give up 
Casa Guidi ; it was too inconvenient and in case of 25 
illness too small. We had decided to go away and take 
a villa outside the gates. For years she would not give 
up this house, but at last and, as it were, suddenly, she 



202 COLLECTION OF LETTERS 

said she saw it was too small for us and too inconvenient. 
And so it was ; so the cycle was completed for us here, 
and wiiere the beginning was is the end. Looking 
back at these past years I see that we have been- all the 
5 time walking over a torrent on a straw. Life must 
now be begun anew — all the old cast off and the new 
one put on. I shall go away, break up everything, go 
to England and live and work and write/ 

. . . The funeral was not impressive, as it ought to 

10 have been. She was buried in the Protestant cemetery 
where Theodore Parker lies ; many of her friends were 
there, but fewer persons than I expected and hoped to 
see. The services were blundered through by a fat 
English parson in a brutally careless way, and she was 

15 consigned by him to the earth as if her clay were no 
better than any other clay. I did what I could, but 
I had arrived too late to assume the arrangements. . . . 
So I carried two wreaths — it was all I could do — one 
of those exquisite white Florence roses, and the other of 

20 laurel, and these I laid on her coffin . She is a great 
loss to literature, to Italy and to the world — the great- 
est poet among women. What energy and fire there 
was in that little frame; what burning words were 
winged by her pen; with what glorious courage she 

25 attacked error, however strongly entrenched in custom ; 
how bravely she stood by her principles ! Never did I 
see any one whose brow the world hurried and crowded 
so to crown, who had so little vanity and so much pure 



COLLECTION OF LETTERS 203 

humility. Praise gratified her when just — blame 
when unjust scarcely annoyed her. She could afford 
to let her work plead for itself. Ready to accept criti- 
cism, she never feared it, but defended herself with 
spirit when unjustly attacked. For public opinions 
she cared not a straw, and could not bear to be looked 
on as a lion. Her faiths were rooted in the centre of 
her being. 

Browning is now with his sister in Paris. The house 
at Florence is broken up, and I have lost my best 10 
friend and daily companion in Italy. You cannot 
imagine how I shall miss him. For three years now 
we have been always together ; never a day has passed 
(with the exception of two months' separation in the 
spring and autumn when he went to Florence) that we is 
have not met; all the long summer evenings of these 
last summers at Siena he was with us, and w T e sat on our 
terrace night after night till midnight talking together, 
or we played and sang together above stairs. All the 
last winters he worked with me daily for three hours in 20 
my studio, and we met either at my house or at his or 
at that of some friend nearly every evening. There is 
no one to supply his place. Returning to Rome, I 
have not one single intimate; acquaintances by hun- 
dreds, but no friends, no one with whom I can sym- 25 
pathise on all points as with him, no one with whom I 
can walk any of the higher ranges of art and philosophy. 
This for me is a terrible want. . . . 



204 COLLECTION OF LETTERS 

. . . The last thing before leaving Rome was to 
make a bust of him which his wife was good enough to 
call 'perfect/ It was made for her as a present, but, 
alas ! you see the end of that. . . . 

(84) Thackeray to Tennyson 

5 Folkstone, September. 

36 Onslow Square, October. 

My dear old Alfred, — I owe you a letter of 
happiness and thanks. Sir, about three weeks ago, 
when I was ill in bed, I read the "Idylls of the King," 

io and I thought, " Oh I must write to him now, for this 
pleasure, this delight, this splendour of happiness which 
I have been enjoying." But I should have blotted the 
sheets, 'tis ill writing on one's back. The letter full 
of gratitude never went as far as the postoffice and how 

15 comes it now? 

D'abord, a bottle of claret. (The landlord of the 
hotel asked me down to the cellar and treated me.) 
Then afterwards sitting here, an old magazine, Fraser's 
Magazine, 1850, and I come on a poem out of "The 

20 Princess" which says "I hear the horns of Elfland 
blowing blowing," no, it's "the horns of Elfland faintly 
blowing" (I have been into my bedroom to fetch my 
pen and it has made that blot), and, reading the lines, 
which only one man in the world could write, I thought 

25 about the other horns of Elfland blowing in full strength, 



COLLECTION OF LETTERS 205 

and Arthur in gold armour, and Guinevere in gold hair 
and all those knights and heroes and beauties and 
purple landscapes and misty gray lakes in which you 
have made me live. They seem like facts to me, since 
about three weeks ago (three weeks or a month was it ?) $ 
when I read the book. It is on the table yonder, and 
I don't like, somehow, to disturb it, but the delight and 
gratitude ! You have made me as happy as I was as a 
child with the Arabian Nights, every step I have walked 
in Elfland has been a sort of Paradise to me. (Theio 
landlord gave two bottles of his claret and I think I 
drank the most) and here I have been lying back in the 
chair and thinking of those delightful "Idylls," my 
thoughts being turned to you : what could I do but be 
grateful to that surprising genius which has made me is 
so happy ? Do you understand that what I mean is all 
true and that I should break out were you sitting oppo- 
site with a pipe in your mouth ? Gold and purple and 
diamonds, I say, gentlemen and glory and love and 
honour, and if you haven't given me all these why 20 
should I be in such an ardour of gratitude? But I 
have had out of that dear book the greatest delight 
that has ever come to me since I was a young man ; to 
write and think about it makes me almost young, and 
this I suppose is what I'm doing, like an after-dinner 25 
speech. 

P.S. I thought the "Grandmother" quite as fine. 
How can you at 50 be doing things as well as at 35 ? 



206 COLLECTION OF LETTERS 

October 16th. (I should think six weeks after the 
writing of the above.) 

The rhapsody of gratitude was never sent, and for a 
peculiar reason ; just about the time of writing I came 

s to an arrangement with Smith and Elder to edit their 
new magazine, and to have a contribution from T. 
was the publisher's and editor's highest ambition. 
But to ask a man for a favour, and to praise and bow 
down before him in the same page seemed to be so like 

10 hypocrisy, that I held my hand, and left this note in my 
desk, where it has been lying during a little French- 
Italian-Swiss tour which my girls and their papa have 
been making. 

Meanwhile S. E. and Co. have been making their 

15 own proposals to you, and you have replied not favour- 
ably I am sorry to hear : but now there is no reason 
why you should not have my homages, and I am just 
as thankful for the "Idylls," and love and admire them 
just as much, as I did two months ago when I began to 

20 write in the ardour of claret and gratitude. If you 
can't write for us you can't. If you can by chance 
some day, and help an old friend, how pleased and 
happy I shall be ! This however must be left to fate 
and your convenience : I don't intend to give up hope, 

25 but accept the good fortune if it comes. I see one, two, 
three quarterlies advertised to-day, as all bringing laurels 
to laureatus. He will not refuse the private gift of an 
old friend, will he? You know how pleased the girls 



COLLECTION OF LETTERS 207 

were at Kensington t'other day to hear you quote their 
father's little verses, and he too I daresay was not 
disgusted. He sends you and yours his very best 
regards in this most heartfelt and artless 

(note of admiration) ! 5 

Always yours, my dear Alfred. 

W. M. Thackeray. 

(85) Tennyson to Thackeray 

Warringford. 
My dear Thackeray, — Should I not have answered 
you ere this 6th of November ? surely : what excuse ? io 
none that I know of : except indeed, that perhaps your 
very generosity and boundlessness of approval made me 
in a measure shamefaced. I could scarcely accept it, 
being, I fancy, a modest man, and always more or less 
doubtful of my own efforts in any line. But I may tell is 
you that your little note gave me more pleasure than 
all the journals and monthlies and quarterlies which 
have come across me : not so much from your being 
the Great Novelist I hope as from your being my good 
old friend, or perhaps from your being both of these in 20 
one. Well, let it be. I have been ransacking all sorts 
of old albums and scrap books but cannot find anything 
worthy sending you. Unfortunately before your letter 
arrived I had agreed to give Macmillan the only avail- 
able poem° I had by me ("Sea Dreams"). I don't 25 



208 COLLECTION OF LETTERS 

think he would have got it (for I dislike publishing in 
magazines) except that he had come to visit me in my 
Island, and was sitting and blowing his weed vis-a-vis. 
I am sorry that you have engaged for any quantity of 

5 money to let your brains be sucked periodically by 
Smith, Elder & Co. : not that I don't like Smith who 
seems from the very little I have seen of him liberal 
and kindly, but that so great an artist as you are should 
go to work after this fashion. Whenever you feel your 

10 brains as the " remainder biscuit," ° or indeed whenever 

you will, come over to me and take a blow on these 

downs where the air as Keats said is " worth sixpence a 

pint," and bring your girls too. 

Yours always, 
I5 A. Tennyson. 

(86) Thomas Henry Huxley to John Tyndall 

Eastbourne, Oct. 15, 1892. 

My dear Tyndall, — I think you will like to hear 
that the funeral yesterday lacked nothing to make it 
worthy of the dead or the living. 

20 Bright sunshine streamed through the windows of 
the nave, while the choir was in half gloom, and as 
each shaft of light illuminated the flower-covered bier 
as it slowly travelled on, one thought of the bright suc- 
cession of his works between the darkness before and the 

25 darkness after. I am glad to say that the Royal Society 



COLLECTION OF LETTERS 209 

was represented by four of its chief officers, and nine 
of the commonalty, including myself. Tennyson has 
a right to that, as the first poet since Lucretius who 
has understood the drift of science. 

We have heard nothing of you and your wife for ages. 5 
Ask her to give us news, good news I hope, of both. 

My wife is better than she was, and joins me in love. 

Ever affectionatelv, 

T. H. Huxley. 

(87) Sarah Orne Jewett to Mrs. Whitman 

22, Clarges Street, Mayfair, W. 10 
London, 20 August, 1892. 

I believe that I wrote you last from Yorkshire, and 
there seems to be so much to tell since, that my pen 
quite flies in the air, like a horse that won't go. We 
had a lovely scurry indeed, home from Ilkley by the 15 
way of " Lincoln, Peterborough, and Ely," ° not to speak 
of Boston and Cambridge, where we gave ourselves 
just time enough to see Newnham, and to have a walk 
and to go to the afternoon service at King's College 
Chapel, and to stray afterward in the dusk into Trinity 20 
Hall to see the portraits, and then to our inn to sleep 
as best we might, after a great day, and go on to London 
in the morning. We spent eight solid hours in the 
House of Commons, on Tuesday night, to hear the great 
debate, and were flying about a good deal all that week, 25 
and at the end we went up into Warwickshire to stay 
p 



210 COLLECTION OF LETTERS 

with Mrs. Dugdale, a most charming visit in a story- 
book country house, which we both enjoyed enormously ; 
and then by Oxford back to London again, and this 
last week we have been seeing much of the Arnolds. . . . 
5 It is a very good time to take for being in London, on 
the whole, but we have been spending nights and mak- 
ing days' journeys to the neighborhood, and begin to 
feel that we are not likely to see half enough of London 
itself. But what can I tell you (with a common Flying 

10 Scotchman pen) of going to see my Lord and Lady 
Tennyson, down among the Surrey hills ! It meant a 
great deal more to me than when I saw them before. 
I wish I could make you know their wonderful faces. 
One goes into their presence with the feeling of a former 

15 age. I believe that I know exactly what I should have 
felt a thousand years ago if I were paying a friendly 
visit to my king ; but it is the high court of poetry at 
Aldworth, ° whatever one may say. My Lord Tennyson 
was so funny and cross about newspapers and reporters 

20 that I feel his shadow above me even in this letter, 
innocent-hearted as I be. He has suffered deep wrongs 
indeed ; perhaps it is well that I can't write long enough 
to tell you many delightful things that he said and did 
(saying some of his poetry once or twice in a wonderful 

25 way), except one which belongs to you, — his complete 
delight in my Japanese crystal, which he looked at over 
and over, and wondered much about, and enjoyed, and 
thought to find things in it.° Wasn't that nice of you, 



COLLECTION OF LETTERS 211 

S. W. ? and you a-giving it to me, and indeed so many 
people beside a poet have liked me for it, and remember 
me now as the person to whom it belonged. If I could 
have given it to anybody in this world, I could have 
given it to Tennyson then and there ; but Xo ! and now 5 
I like it more because he liked it, a-shining in its silver 
leaves. 

Yesterday we spent the day with Mrs. Humphry 
Ward,° who has been ill for a while and is just getting " 
better. Somehow, she seemed so much younger and 10 
more girlish than I expected, even with Ethel, her next 
sister, clear and dear in my mind. Ethel was not there, 
but Mrs. Huxley, and her father and his wife, and Mr. 
Ward himself, for which I w r as very glad. I long to 
have you know Mrs. Ward. You would quite take 15 
her to your heart. She is very clear and shining in her 
young mind, brilliant and full of charm, and with a 
lovely simplicity and sincerity of manner. I think of 
her with warmest affection and a sacred expectation of 
what she is sure to do if she keeps strong, and sorrow 20 
does not break her eager young heart too soon. Her 
life burns with a very fierce flame, and she has not in the 
least done all that she can do, but just now it seems 
to me that her vigor is a good deal spent. She has 
most lovely children. The young son was busy with 
cricket-match, and we beheld a good part of it, and saw 
the charming old garden, and altogether it v cry 

pleasant day indeed, and held pleasure enough for 1 



212 COLLECTION OF LETTERS 

or three. Now that I have begun to tell things, I wish 
to write you a complete autobiography of two weeks, 
but all the other people and things must wait until I 
see you, except perhaps that I must tell you how won- 

5 derfully well Mary Beaumont looks and seems. This 
week we are going to Cobham, to stay a few days with 
dear Mrs. Arnold, who would touch you with her 
changed looks. She has grown so much older since that 
merry day when we went to the first feast at Old Place. 

10 She asks so affectionately for you, and is just as dear 
as ever. When you get this letter, I think we shall be 
staying up at Whitby, on our way to Edinburgh, seeing 
the Du Mauriers again, according to agreement, and 
other friends, and liking to go there because Mr. Lowell 

15 was always talking about it and was so fond of it. 
Then we go on to Edinburgh. See what a little place I 
have left to send A. F.'s love in, but here it goes. 
Good-bye, dear. 

And then "Lady Rose's Daughter." If you w T ere 

20 here how much we should talk about it. There are 
splendid qualities of the highest sort. One says at 
certain moments with happy certainty that here is the 
one solitary master of fiction — I mean of novel writing. 
How is she going on at this great pace to the story's 

25 end ? But one cannot let such a story flag and fail — 
there must be an end as good as this beginning. 



COLLECTION OF LETTERS 213 

(88) Edward FitzGerald to Alfred, Lord Tennyson 

Gorlestone, Great Yarmouth, July, 1857. 

My dear old Alfred, — Please direct the enclosed 
to Frederick. I wrote him some months ago getting 
Parker to direct ; but have had no reply. You won't 
write to me, at which I can't wonder. I keep hoping 5 
for King Arthur — or part of him. I have got here 
to the seaside — a dirty, Dutch-looking sea, with a 
dusty Country in the rear ; but the place is not amiss 
for one's Yellow Leaf. I keep on reading foolish 
Persian too : chiefly because of its connecting me with 10 
the Cowells, now besieged in Calcutta. But also I 
have really got hold of an old Epicurean so desperately 
impious in his recommendations to live only for To-day 
that the good Mahometans have scarce dared to multi- 
ply MSS. of him. He writes in little quatrains, and 15 
has scarce any of the iteration and conceits to which his 
people are given. . . . But he is very tender about his 
roses and wine, and making the most of this poor little 
life. 

All which is very poor stuff you will say. Please to 20 
remember me to the Lady. I don't know when I shall 
ever see you again ; and yet you can't think how often 
I wish to do so, and never forget you, and never shall, 
my dear old Alfred, in spite of Epicurus. But I don't 
grow merrier. Yours ^ 

E. F. G. 



214 COLLECTION OF LETTERS 

(89) Edward FitzGerald to Mrs. Tennyson 

1873. 
Dear Mrs. Tennyson, — I remember Franklin 
Lushington perfectly — at Farringford in 1854; al- 
most the last visit I paid anywhere : and as pleasant as 
s any, after, or before. I have still some sketches I made 
of the place: "Maud, Maud, Maud/' etc., was then 
read to me, and has rung in my ears ever after. Mr. 
Lushington, I remember, sketched also. If he be with 
you still, please tell him that I hope his remembrance of 
io me is as pleasant as mine of him. 

I think I told you that Frederick came here in August, 
having (of course) missed you on his way. The Mis- 
tress of Trinity wrote to me some little while ago, 
telling me, among other things, that she, and others, 
15 were much pleased with your son Hallam, whom they 
thought to be like the "Paltry Poet" ° (poor fellow). 

The Paltry one's Portrait is put in a frame and hung 

up at my chateau, where I talk to it sometimes, and 

every one likes to see it. It is clumsy enough, to be 

20 sure ; but it still recalls the old man to me better than 

the bearded portraits which are now the fashion. 

But oughtn't your Hallam to have it over his mantel- 
piece at Trinity ? 

The first volume of Forster's Dickens has been read 

25 to me of a night, making me love him, up to 30 years of 

age at any rate ; till then, quite unspoilt, even by his 



COLLECTION OF LETTERS 215 

American triumphs, and full of good humor, generosity, 
and energy. I wonder if Alfred remembers dining at 
his house with Thackeray and me, me taken there, 
quite unaffected, and seeming to wish any one to show 
off rather than himself. In the evening we had a 5 
round game at cards and mulled claret. Does A. T. 
remember ? 

I have had my yearly letter from Carlyle, w T ho writes 
of himself as better than last year. He sends me a 
Mormon Newspaper, with a very sensible sermon in it 10 
from the life of Brigham Young, as also the account of a 
visit to a gentleman of Utah with eleven wives and near 
forty children, all of whom were very happy together. 
I am just going to send the paper to Archdeacon Allen 
to show him how they manage these things over the 15 
Atlantic. 

About Omar I must say that all the changes made in 
the last copy are not to be attributed to my own per- 
verseness; the same thoughts being constantly re- 
peated with directions, whether by Omar or others, in 20 
500 quatrains going under his name. I had not eyes, 
nor indeed any further appetite, to refer to the Original, 
or even to the French Translation. ... I really 
didn't, and don't, think it matters what changes are 
made in that Immortal Work which is to last about five 25 
years longer. I believe it is the strong-minded Ameri- 
can ladies who have chiefly taken it up ; but they will 
soon have something wickeder to digest, I dare say. 



216 COLLECTION OF LETTERS 

I am going to write out for Alfred a few lines from a 
Finnish Poem which I find quoted in Lowell's "Among 
my Books" — which I think a good Book. But I 
must let my eyes rest now. 

(90) Washington Irving to His Brother 

5 Abbotsford, September 1, 1817. 

My dear Brother, — I have barely time to scrawl 
a line before the gossoon goes off with the letters to the 
neighboring post-office. 

I was disappointed in my expectation of meeting 

io with Dugald Stewart ° at Mr. Jeffrey's ° ; some circum- 
stance prevented his coming ; though we had Mrs. and 
Miss Stewart. The party, however, was very agreeable 
and interesting. Lady Davy° was in excellent spirits, 
and talked like an angel. In the evening, when we 

15 collected in the drawing-room, she held forth for up- 
wards of an hour ; the company drew round her and 
seemed to listen in mute pleasure ; even Jeffrey seemed 
to keep his colloquial powers in check to give her full 
chance. She reminded me of the picture of the Minis- 

20 ter Bird with all the birds of the forest perched on the 
surrounding branches in listening attitudes. I met 
there with Lord Webb Seymour, brother to the Duke 
of Somerset. He is almost a constant resident of 
Edinburgh. He was very attentive to me; wrote 

25 down a route for me in the Highlands, and called 



COLLECTION OF LETTERS 217 

on me next morning, when he detailed the route more 
particularly. I have promised to see him when I re- 
turn to Edinburgh, which promise I shall keep, as I 
like him much. 

On Friday, in spite of sullen, gloomy weather, 1 5 
mounted the top of the mail coach, and rattled off to 
Selkirk. It rained heavily in the course of the afternoon, 
and drove me inside. On Saturday morning early I 
took chaise for Melrose ; and on the way stopped at the 
gate of Abbotsford, and sent in my letter of introduc- 10 
tion, with a request to know whether it would be agree- 
able for Mr. Scott to receive, a visit from me in the 
course of the day. The glorious old minstrel himself 
came limping to the gate, took me by the hand in a 
way that made me feel as if we were old friends ; in a 15 
moment I was seated at his hospitable board among his 
charming little family, and here have I been ever since. 
I had intended certainly being back in Edinburgh to- 
day (Monday), but Mr. Scott wishes me to stay until 
Wednesday, that we may make excursions to Dry- 20 
burgh Abbey, Yarrow, etc., as the weather has held 
up and the sun begins to shine. I cannot tell you how 
truly I have enjoyed the hours I have passed here. 
They fly by too quick, yet each is loaded with story, 
incident, or song : and when I consider the world of 25 
ideas, images, and impressions that have been crowded 
upon my mind since I have been here, it seems incredi- 
ble that I should only have been two days at Abbots- 



218 COLLECTION OF LETTERS 

ford. I have rambled about the hills with Scott; 
visited the haunts of Thomas the Rhymer, and other 
spots rendered classic by border tale and witching song, 
and have been in a kind of dream or delirium. 
5 As to Scott, I cannot express my delight at his charac- 
ter and manners. He is a sterling golden-hearted old 
worthy, full of the joyousness of youth, with an imagina- 
tion continually furnishing forth pictures, and a charm- 
ing simplicity of manner that puts you at ease with him 

10 in a moment. It has been a constant source of pleasure 
to me to remark his deportment towards his family, his 
neighbors, his domestics, his very dogs and cats ; every- 
thing that comes within his influence seems to catch a 
beam of that sunshine that plays round his heart ; but 

15 I shall say more of him hereafter, for he is a theme on 
which I shall love to dwell. 

Before I left Edinburgh I saw Blackwood ° in his shop. 
It was accidental — my conversing with him. He 
found out who I was ; is extremely anxious to make an 

20 American arrangement ; wishes to get me to write for 
his Magazine; (the "Edinburgh Monthly.") Wishes 
to introduce me to Mackenzie, Wilson, etc. Con- 
stable called on me just before I left town. He had 
been in the country and just returned. He was very 

25 friendly in his manner. Lord Webb Seymour's coming 
in interrupted us, and Constable took leave. I prom- 
ised to see him on my return to Edinburgh. He is 
about regenerating the old "Edinburgh Magazine/' 



COLLECTION OF LETTERS 219 

and has got Blackwood's editors away from him in 
consequence of some feud they had with him. 

Commend me to Hamilton. I hope to hear from him 
soon, and shall write to him again. 

Your affectionate brother, 5 

W. I. 

(91) Washington Irving to His Brother 

Edinburgh, September 6, 1817. 
My dear Brother, — ... I left Abbotsford on 
Wednesday morning, and never left any place with 
more regret. The few days that I passed there were io 
among the most delightful of my life, and worth as 
many years of ordinary existence. We made a charm- 
ing excursion to Dryburgh Abbey, but were prevented 
making our visit to Yarrow by company. I was with 
Scott from morning to night; rambling about the hills 15 
and streams, every one of which would bring to his 
mind some old tale or picturesque remark. I was 
charmed with his family. He has two sons and two 
daughters. Sophie Scott, the eldest, is between seven- 
teen and eighteen, a fine little mountain lassie, with a 20 
great deal of her father's character; and the most 
engaging frankness and naivete. Ann, the second 
daughter, is about sixteen; a pleasing girl, but her 
manner is not so formed as her sister. The oldest lad, 
Walter, is about fifteen ; but surprisingly tall of his 25 



220 COLLECTION OF LETTERS 

age, having the appearance of nineteen. He is quite 
a sportsman. Scott says he has taught him to ride, 
to shoot, and to tell the truth. The younger boy, 
Charles, however, is the inheritor of his father's genius ; 
5 he is about twelve, and an uncommonly sprightly 
amusing little fellow. It is a perfect picture to see 
Scott and his household assembled of an evening — 
the dogs stretched before the fire ; the cat perched on a 
chair ; Mrs. Scott and the girls sewing, and Scott either 

10 reading out of some old romance, or telling border 
stories. Our amusements were occasionally diversified 
by a border song from Sophia, who is as well versed in 
border minstrelsy as her father. 

I am in too great a hurry, however, to make details. 

i 5 1 took the most friendly farewell of them all on Wednes- 
day morning, and had a cordial invitation from Scott 
to give him another visit on my return from the High- 
lands ; which, I think it probable, I shall do. 

I found Preston here on my arrival ; lie had been in 

2d Edinburgh for three days. We shall set off for the 
Highlands to-morrow. Scott has given me a letter to 
Hector Macdonald Buchanan of Ross Priory, Loch 
Lomond, with a request for him to give me a day on the 
lake. This Macdonald is a fine fellow, I understand, 

25 and a particular friend of Scott. He took Scott up the 
lake lately in his barge, when Scott visited Loch Lomond, 
so I shall be able to trace Scott in his Rob Rov scenerv. 



COLLECTION OF LETTERS 221 

(92) Washington Irving to James K. Paulding 

London, May 27, 1820. 

My dear James, — It is some time since I received 
your very interesting and gratifying letter of January 
20th, and I have ever since been on the point of answer- 
ing it, but been prevented by those thousand petty 5 
obstacles that are always in the way of letter writing. 

As I am launched upon the literary world here, I 
find my opportunities of observation extending. 
Murray's drawing-room is a great resort of first-rate 
literary characters ; whenever I have a leisure hour I go io 
there, and seldom fail to meet with some interesting 
personages. The hours of access are from two to five. 
It is understood to be a matter of privilege, and that 
you must have a general invitation from Murray. 
Here I frequently meet with such personages as Gifford, 15 
Campbell, Foscolo, Hallam (author of a work on the 
Middle 'Ages), Southey, Milman, Scott, Belzoni, 
etc., etc. Scott, or Sir Walter Scott, as he is now called, 
passed some few weeks in town lately, on coming up for 
his baronetcy. I saw him repeatedly, having formed 20 
an acquaintance with him two or three years since at 
his country retreat on the Tweed. He is a man that, 
if you knew, you would love; a right honest-hearted, 
generous-spirited being; without vanity, affectation, 
or assumption of any kind. He enters into every pass- 25 



222 COLLECTION OF LETTERS 

ing scene or passing pleasure with the interest and 
simple enjoyment of a child; nothing seems too high 
or remote for the grasp of his mind, and nothing too 
trivial or low for the kindness and pleasantry of his 
5 spirit. AYhen I was in want of literary counsel and 
assistance, Scott was the only literary man to whom I 
felt that I could talk about myself and my petty con- 
cerns with the confidence and freedom that I would to 
an old friend. Nor was I deceived; from the first 

10 moment that I mentioned my work to him in a letter, 
he took a decided and effective interest in it, and has 
been to me an invaluable friend. It is only astonishing 
how he finds time, with such ample exercise of the pen, 
to attend so much to the interests and concerns of 

15 others; but no one ever applied to Scott for any aid, 
counsel, or service that would cost time and trouble, 
that was not most cheerfully and thoroughly assisted. 
Life passes away with him in a round of good offices and 
social enjoyments. Literature seems his sport rather 

20 than his labor or his ambition, and I never met an 
author so completely void of all the petulance, egotism, 
and peculiarities of the craft; but I am running into 
prolixity about Scott, who I confess has completely 
won my heart, even more as a man than as an author ; 

25 so, praying God to bless him, we will change the subject. 

Your picture of domestic enjoyment indeed raises my 

envy. With all my wandering habits, which are the 

result of circumstances rather than of disposition, I 



COLLECTION OF LETTERS 223 

think I was formed for an honest, domestic, uxorious 
man, and I cannot hear of my old cronies snugly 
nestled down with good wives and fine children round 
them, but I feel for the moment desolate and forlorn. 
Heavens ! what a haphazard life mine has been, that 5 
here I should be, at this time of life, youth slipping 
away, and scribbling month after month and year after 
year, far from home, without any means or prospect of 
entering into matrimony, which I absolutely believe 
indispensable to the happiness and even comfort of 10 
the after part of existence. When I fell into mis- 
fortunes and saw all the means of domestic establish- 
ment pass away like a dream, I used to comfort my- 
self with the idea that if I was indeed doomed to remain 
single, you and Brevoort and Gouv. Kemble would 15 
also do the same, and that we should form a knot of 
queer, rum old bachelors, at some future day, to meet 
at the corner of Wall Street or walk the sunny side of 
Broadway and kill time together. But you and Bre- 
voort have given me the slip, and now that Gouv. has 20 
turned Vulcan and is forging thunderbolts so success- 
fully in the Highlands, I expect nothing more than to 
hear of his conveying some blooming bride up to the 
smithy. But heaven prosper you all, and grant that 
I may find you all thriving and happy when I return. 25 

I cannot close my letter without adverting to the sad 
story of our gallant friend Decatur; though my heart 
rises to my throat the moment his idea comes across 



224 COLLECTION OF LETTERS 

my mind. He was a friend "faithful and just" to me, 
and I have gone through such scenes of life as make a 
man feel the value of friendship. I can never forget 
how generously he stepped forth in my behalf when I 
s felt beaten down and broken-spirited ; I can never for- 
get him as the companion of some of my happiest hours, 
and as mingled with some of the last scenes of home 
and its enjoyments; these recollections bring him 
closer to my feelings than all the brilliancy of his public 

i o career. But he has lived through a life of animation 
and enjoyment, and died in the fullness of fame and 
prosperity; his cup was always full to the brim, and 
he has not lingered to drain it to the dregs and taste of 
the bitterness. I feel most for her he has left behind, 

15 and from all that I recollect of her devoted affection, 
her disconsolateness even during his temporary absence 
and jeopardy, I shrink from picturing to myself what 
must now be her absolute wretchedness. If she is still 
near you give her my most affectionate remembrances ; 

20 to speak of sympathy to her would be intrusion. 

And now, my dear James, with a full heart I take my 
leave of you. Let me hear from you just when it is 
convenient ; no matter how long or how short the letter, 
nor think any apologies necessary for delays, only let 

25 me hear from you. I may suffer time to elapse myself, 
being unsettled, and often perplexed and occupied ; but 
believe me always the same in my feelings, however 
irregular in my conduct, and that no new acquaintances 



COLLECTION OF LETTERS 225 

that a traveller makes in his casual sojournings are apt 
to wear out the deep recollections of his early friends. 
Give my love to Gertrude, who I have no doubt is a 
perfect pattern for wives, and when your boy grows 
large enough to understand tough stories, tell him some 5 
of our early frolics, that he may have some kind of an 
acquaintance with me against we meet. 
Affectionately your friend, 

W. Irving. 

(93) Horace Walpole to the Countess of Ossory 

Strawberry Hill, Oct. 11, 1788. 10 

I am sorry, Madam, that Mes. Villageoises have no 
better provender than my syllogisms to send to their 
correspondents, nor am I ambitious of rivalling the 
barber or innkeeper, and becoming the wit of five miles 
round. I remember how, long ago, I estimated local 15 
renown at its just value by a sort of little adventure 
that I will tell you ; and, since that, there is an admi- 
rable chapter somew T here in Voltaire which shows that 
more extended fame is but local on a little larger scale ; 
it is the chapter of the Chinese w r ho goes into a European 20 
bookseller's shop, and is amazed at finding none of the 
works of his most celebrated countrymen; while the 
bookseller finds the stranger equally ignorant of western 
classics. 

Well, Madam, here is my tiny story: I went once 25 
Q 



226 COLLECTION OF LETTERS 

with Mr. Rigby to see a window of painted glass at 
Messling, in Essex, and dined at a better sort of ale- 
house. The landlady waited on us and was notably 
loquacious and entertained us with the bons-mots and 

5 funny exploits of Mr. Charles ; Mr. Charles said this, 
Mr. Charles played such a trick : oh ! nothing was so 
pleasant as Mr. Charles. But how astonished the poor 
soul was when we asked who Mr. Charles was; and 
how much more astonished when she found we had 

10 never heard of Mr. Charles Luchyn, who, it seems, is a 
relation of Lord Grimston, had lived in their village, 
and been the George Selwyn of half a dozen cot- 
tages. . . . 

If I have picked up no recent anecdotes on our Com- 

15 mon, I have made a much more, to me, precious acquisi- 
tion. It is the acquaintance of two young ladies of 
the name of Berry, whom I first saw last winter, and 
who accidentally took a house here with their father 
for this season. Their story is singular enough to 

20 entertain you. The grandfather, a Scot, had a large 
estate in his own country, £5000 a year it is said; 
and a circumstance I shall tell you makes it probable. 
The eldest son married for love a woman with no 
fortune. The old man was enraged and would not see 

25 him. The wife died and left these two young ladies. 
Their grandfather wished for an heir male, and pressed 
the widower to re-marry, but could not prevail ; the 
son declaring he would consecrate himself to his daugh- 



COLLECTION OF LETTERS 227 

ters and their education. The old man did not break 
with him again, but much worse, totally disinherited 
him, and left all to his second son, who very handsomely 
gave up £800 a year to his elder brother. Mr. Berry 
has since carried his daughters for two or three years 5 
to France and Italy, and they are returned the best- 
informed and the most perfect creatures I ever saw at 
their age. They are exceedingly sensible, entirely 
natural and unaffected, frank, and, being qualified to 
talk on any subject, nothing is so easy and agreeable io 
as their conversation — not more apposite than then- 
answers and observations. The eldest, I discovered by 
chance, understands Latin and is a perfect French- 
woman in her language. The younger draw T s charm- 
ingly, and has copied admirably Lady Di's gipsies, which is 
I lent, though for the first time of her attempting colours. 
They are of pleasing figures ; Mary, the eldest, sweet, 
with fine dark eyes, that are very lively when she speaks, 
with a symmetry of face that is the more interesting 
from being pale ; Agnes, the younger, has an agreeable 20 
sensible countenance, hardly to be called handsome, but 
almost. She is less animated than Mary, but seems, 
out of deference to her sister, to speak seldomer, for 
they dote on each other, and Mary is always praising 
her sister's talents. I must even tell you they dress 25 
within the bounds of fashion, though fashionably; 
but without the excrescences and balconies with which 
modern hoydens overwhelm and barricade their persons. 



228 COLLECTION OF LETTERS 

In short, good sense, information, simplicity, and ease 
characterise the Berry s ; and this is not particularly 
mine, who am apt to be prejudiced, but the universal 
voice of all who know them. The first night I met them 
5 I would not be acquainted with them, having heard 
so much in their praise that I concluded they would be 
all pretension. The second time, in a very small com- 
pany, I sat next to Mary, and found her an angel both 
inside and out. Now I do not know which I like best, 

10 except Mary's face, which is formed for a sentimental 
novel, but is ten times fitter for a fiftv times better 
thing, genteel comedy. This delightful family comes 
to me almost every Sunday evening, as our region is 
too proclamatory to play at cards on the seventh day. 

15 I do not care a straw for cards, but I do disapprove of 
this partiality to the youngest child of the week ; while 
the other poor six days are treated as if they had no 
souls to save. I forgot to tell you that Mr. Berry is a 
little merry man with a round face, and you would not 

20 suspect him of so much feeling and attachment. I 
make no excuse for such minute details; for, if your 
Ladyship insists on hearing the humours of my district, 
you must for once indulge me with sending you two 
pearls that I found in my path. 



COLLECTION OF LETTERS 229 

(94) Horace Walpole to the Miss Berrys 

Strawberry Hill, 
Thursday evening, Aug. 27, 1789. 

I jumped for joy, — that is, my heart did, which is 
all the remain of me that is in statu jumpante° — at the 
receipt of your letter this morning, which tells me you 5 
approve of the house at Teddington. How kind you 
was ° to answer so incontinently ! I believe you bor- 
rowed the best steed from the races. I have sent to the 
landlord to come to me to-morrow : but I could not 
resist beginning my letter to-night, as I am at home 1© 
alone, with a little pain in my left wrist ; but the right 
one has no brotherly feeling for it, and would not be 
put off so. You ask how you have deserved such 
attentions ? Why, by deserving them ; by every kind 
of merit, and by that superlative one to me, your sub- 15 
mitting to throw away so much time on a forlorn an- 
tique — you two, who, without specifying particulars, 
(and you must, at least, be conscious that you are not 
two frights,) might expect any fortune and distinctions, 
and do delight all companies. On which side lies the 20 
wonder? Ask me no more such questions, or I will 
cram you with reasons. . . . 

You must not expect any news from me, French or 
homebred. I am not in the way of hearing any : your 
morning gazetteer rarely calls on me, as I am not likely 25 
to pay him in kind. About royal progresses, paternal 



230 COLLECTION OF LETTERS 

or filial, I never inquire; nor do you, I believe, care 
more than I do. The small wares in which the societies 
at Richmond and Hampton Court deal, are still less 
to our taste. My poor niece and her sisters take up 

5 most of my time and thoughts : but I will not attrist 
you to indulge myself, but will break off here, and 
finish my letter when I have seen your new landlord. 
Good night ! 

Friday. 

10 Well ! I have seen him, and nobody was ever so 
accommodating ! He is as courteous as a candidate 
for a county. You may stay in his house till Christmas 
if you please, and shall pay but twenty pounds ; and if 
more furniture is wanting, it shall be supplied. 

(95) Charles Lamb to Miss Wordsworth 

15 June 14, 1805. 

My dear Miss Wordsworth, — Your long kind 

letter has not been thrown away (for it has given me 

great pleasure to find you are all resuming your old 

occupations, and are better) ; but poor Mary, to whom 

20 it is addressed, cannot yet relish it. She has been 
attacked by one of her severe illnesses, and is at present 
from home. Last Monday week was the day she left 
me, and I hope I may calculate upon having her again 
in a month or little more. I am rather afraid late 

25 hours have in this case contributed to her indisposition. 



COLLECTION OF LETTERS 231 

But when she discovers symptoms of approaching ill- 
ness, it is not easy to say what is best to do. Being 
by ourselves is bad, and going out is bad. I get so 
irritable and wretched with fear, that I constantly 
hasten on the disorder. You cannot conceive the 5 
misery of such a foresight. I am sure that, for the 
week before she left me, I was little better than light- 
headed. I now am calm, but sadly taken down and 
flat. I have every reason to suppose that this illness, 
like all her former ones, will be but temporary ; but 1 10 
cannot always feel so. Meantime she is dead to me, 
and I miss a prop. All my strength is gone, and I am 
like a fool, bereft of her co-operation. I dare not think, 
lest I should think wrong; so used am I to look up 
to her in the least and the biggest perplexity. To say 15 
all that I know of her would be more than I think any- 
body could believe, or even understand ; and when I 
hope to have her well again with me, it would be sin- 
ning against her feelings to go about to praise her ; for 
I can conceal nothing that I do from her. She is older 20 
and wiser and better than I, and all my wretched im- 
perfections I cover to myself by resolutely thinking on 
her goodness. She would share life and death, heaven 
and hell, with me. She lives but for me ; and I know 
I have been wasting and teasing her life for five years 25 
past incessantly with my cursed drinking and ways of 
going on. But even in this upbraiding of myself I am 
offending against her, for I know that she has cleaved 



232 COLLECTION OF LETTERS 

to me for better, for worse ; and if the balance has been 
against her hitherto, it was a noble trade. I am stupid, 
and lose myself in what I write. I write rather what 
answers to my feelings (which are sometimes sharp 
5 enough) than express my present ones, for I am only 
flat and stupid. I am sure you will excuse my writing 
any more. I am so very poorly. . . . 

This is a little unfair, to tell so much about ourselves, 
and to advert so little to your letter, so full of comfort- 

10 able tidings of you all. But my own cares press pretty 
close upon me, and you can make allowance. That you 
may go on gathering strength and peace is my next 
wish to Mary's recovery. 

I had almost forgot your repeated invitation. Sup- 

15 posing that Mary will be well and able, there is another 
ability which you may guess at, which I cannot promise 
myself. In prudence we ought not to come. This 
illness will make it still more prudential to wait. It is 
not a balance of this way of spending our money against 

20 another way, but an absolute question of whether we 
shall stop now, or go on wasting away the little we have 
got beforehand, which my wise conduct has already 
encroached upon one half. My best love, however, to 
you all; and to that most friendly creature, Mrs. 

25 Clarkson, and better health to her, when you see or 

write to her. 

Charles Lamb. 



COLLECTION OF LETTERS 233 

(96) James Russell Lowell to E. L. Godkin 

Elmwood, 8th Jany., 1869. 

Don't think I have gone mad that I so pepper you 
with letters. I have a reason, as you will see presently. 
But in the first place let me thank you for the article 
on Miss Dickinson, which was just what I wanted and 5 
expected, for (excuse me) you preach the best lay ser- 
mons I know of. I know it is a weakness and all that, 
but I was born with an impulse to tell people when I 
like them and what they do, and I look upon you as a 
great public benefactor. I sit under your preaching 10 
every week with indescribable satisfaction, and know 
just how young women feel toward their parson, but, 
let Mrs. Godkin take courage, I can't marry you ! 

My interest in the Nation is one of gratitude, and 
has nothing to do with my friendship for you. I am 15 
sure from what I hear said against you that you are 
doing great good and that you are respected. I may 
be wrong, but I sincerely believe you have raised the 
tone of the American press. 

I don't want to pay for the Nation myself. I take a 20 
certain satisfaction in the large F. on the address of 
my copy. It is the only thing for which I was ever 
deadheaded. But I wish to do something in return. 
So I enclose my check for $25 and wish you to send the 
paper to five places where it will do most good to others 25 
and to itself. Find out five college reading-rooms 



234 COLLECTION OF LETTERS 

and send it to them for a year. Those who read it will 
want to keep on reading it. I can think of no wiser 
plan. Send one to the University of Virginia and one 
to the College in South Carolina. One perhaps would 
5 do good if sent to Paul H. Hayne, Augusta, Georgia. 
He was a rebel colonel, I believe, but is in a good frame 
of mind, if I may judge from what he has written to me. 

(97) James Russell Lowell to Mrs. Godkin 

Elmwood, 6th July, 1869. 

My dear Mrs. Godkin, — I promised him (you 

i o will know whom I mean, for women never recognize 
more than one He on this planet — at one time) that 
I would send him a copy of some extrumpery verses 
which I declaimed at the Commencement dinner. I 
need not say they are purely oratorical — ca va sans 

15 dire° — and need I explain why there are so many of 
'em ? " Heavens ! " I hear him exclaiming as you toss 
them upon his desk unread and return to your needle 
— " does he know that the News allows me at most a 
column and a half ? " Omnibus hoc vitium est cantoribus, 

20 these verse-makers stuff their pages full as a Broadway 
omnibus. And they are so ready to pick a quarrel 
if you don't print the whole of 'em. "The whole of 
'em to be sure ! Why didn't he send me a translation 
of the Ramayana, or whatever the confounded thing's 

25 name is ? " Now therefore these presents are to author- 



COLLECTION OF LETTERS 235 

ize him to take or leave as he pleases. Gurney told me 
what had got into the papers, and I wanted to give 
him more as putting him on the foot of the most friendly 
powers. But let him at all events stick to my copy, 
which is the sole authentic. Let him observe that I 5 
call the Adamses sturdy and not stalwart, with other 
second thoughts for the better. 'Tis an improvisation 
at best, and I did not wish a line of it printed — but 
see these verse-makers ! They don't know how to 
stop in copying any more than in reading their verses. 10 
However, he won't offend me if he don't use a word of it. 
So far you may read aloud — the rest to yourself. 
He is modest, as all manly fellows are, and won't give 
you any notion how warm his reception was at the din- 
ner. It was warmer than anybody's (yes, a?zz/body's, 15 
and that includes, well, a good many respectable persons 
and one in special, but I forbear). There was a rolling 
fire of clappings and cheers that died away and began 
again louder than ever for several minutes. I rapped 
on the table till my knuckles were sore, and that or 20 
something positively made my eyes water. It was 
really splendid, as Mabel says. It was the first instal- 
ment of his good-service pension. "Well, well," you 
say a little impatiently and tap with your little foot, 
"but how did he look?" Precisely as he used when 25 
somebody was Miss Foote.° He looked as much like 
that old-fashioned thing we used to call a Man (you 
remember 'em, perhaps? No? Well, you are hardly 



236 COLLECTION OF LETTERS 

old enough) as anybody I ever saw — erect, head well 
thrown back like a boxer's, and lots of fight in it — and 
all the while I was envying him that splendid white 
waistcoat that set off his chest to such advantage. Do 

5 you see him ? The only fault was that you couldn't 
be there. You'd have cried, though, I'll lay a five-cent 
piece, the largest coin we have. Now, if, after reading 
this you should go and just do something nice to him in 
a womanly way, it would serve him perfectly right. 

10 P. S. He made a very nice speech, too. 

He will be puzzled to think how I recollected the 
number of your P. O. box. I have observed that people 
are valued nowadays mainly for the variety of their 
useless historical knowledge, and I know I shall rise 

15 in his opinion by telling him that 1548 was the date 
of the Smalcaldic league or the Confession of Augsburg 
or the Conquest of Mexico or something of the sort. 
At any rate, one of Henry Vlllth's wives must have 
been beheaded in that year — a year ever precious to 

20 the believers in proper household discipline. That's 
the way I remembered it. 



X. De Gustibus 
(98) Charles Lamb to William Wordsworth 

Jan. 30, 1801. 

I ought before this to have replied to your very kind 
invitation into Cumberland. With you and your 
sister I could gang anywhere ; but I am afraid whether 
I shall ever be able to afford so desperate a journey. 5 
Separate from the pleasure of your company, I don't 
much care if I never see a mountain in my life. I have 
passed all my days in London, until I have formed as 
many and intense local attachments as any of you 
mountaineers can have done with dead Nature. The 10 
lighted shops of the Strand and Fleet Street :° the 
innumerable trades, tradesmen, and customers : coaches, 
wagons, playhouses : all the bustle and wickedness 
round about Covent Garden :° the very women of the 
Town: the watchmen, drunken scenes, rattles — life 15 
awake, if you awake, at all hours of the night : the 
impossibility of being dull in Fleet Street : the crowds, 
the very dirt and mud, the sun shining upon houses 
and pavements : the printshops, the old-book stalls, 
parsons cheapening books : corTee-houses,, steams of 20 

237 



238 COLLECTION OF LETTERS 

soups from kitchens : the pantomimes — London itself 
a pantomime and a masquerade : all these things work 
themselves into my mind, and feed me without a power 
of satiating me. The wonder of these sights impels 

5 me into night-walks about her crowded streets, and I 
often shed tears in the motley Strand from fulness of 
joy at so much life. All these emotions must be strange 
to you ; so are your rural emotions to me. But consider, 
what must I have been doing all my life, not to have 

iolent great portions of my heart with usury to such 
scenes ? 

My attachments are all local, purely local — I have no 
passion (or have had none since I was in love, and then 
it was the spurious engendering of poetry and books) 

15 for groves and valleys. The rooms where I was born, 
the furniture which has been before my eyes all my life, 
a bookcase which has followed me about like a faithful 
dog (only exceeding him in knowledge), wherever I have 
moved, old chairs, old tables, streets, squares, where I 

20 have sunned myself, my old school — these are my 
mistresses. Have I not enough without your moun- 
tains ? I do not envy you. I should pity you, did I 
not know that the mind will make friends of anything. 
Your sun and moon, and skies, and hills, and lakes, 

25 affect me no more, or scarcely come to me in more 
venerable characters, than as a gilded room with tapes- 
try and tapers, where I might live with handsome visible 
objects. I consider the clouds above me but as a roof 



COLLECTION OF LETTERS 239 

beautifully painted, but unable to satisfy the mind : 
and at last, like the pictures of the apartment of a 
connoisseur, unable to afford him any longer a pleasure. 
So fading upon me, from disuse, have been the beauties 
of Nature, as they have been confidently called ; so 5 
ever fresh, and green, and warm are all the inventions 
of men, and assemblies of men, in this great city. I 
should certainly have laughed with dear Joanna. 

Give my kindest love and my sister's to D.° and your- 
self. And a kiss from me to little Barbara Lew^thwaite. 10 
Thank you for liking my play ! 

(99) Charles Lamb to Coleridge 

September 8, 1802. 

Dear Coleridge, — I thought of not writing till 
we had performed some of our commissions; but we 15 
have been hindered from setting about them, which 
yet shall be done to a tittle. We got home very pleas- 
antly on Sunday. Mary is a good deal fatigued, and 
finds the difference of going to a place and coming from 
it. I feel that I shall remember your mountains to the 20 
last day I live. They haunt me perpetually. I am 
like a man who has been falling in love unknown to 
himself, which he finds out when he leaves the lady. I 
do not remember any very strong impression while 
they were present, but, being gone, their mementos are 25 
shelved in my brain. . . . 



240 COLLECTION OF LETTERS 

(100) Celia Thaxter to J. G. Whittier 

You cannot know what a joy your dear letter is to me. 
I have read it again and again. Ah, my dear friend, 
you speak so kindly ! But who in our time has given 
so much strength and refreshment as you have done, 

5 not only to your friends and your country, but to all the 
world, which has been bettered by your living in it? 
Yes, I had a quiet, lovely winter in Portsmouth. I 
did more writing than for years, and was well and con- 
tent until about three weeks ago, when I was suddenly 

io very ill, as I have been twice before, for no reason that 
anybody appears able to find out, except "overwork" 
the doctors say, in years past. I say as little, about it as 
possible. 

I do not mind the thought of death, it means only 

is fuller life, but there is a pang in the thought of leaving 
Karl. But I know the heavenly Father provides for 
all. It may be I shall get quite well and strong again in 
this beautiful air. I hope so, but whatever befalls, 
I am ready and know that all is for best. 

20 Never did the island look so lovely in the early 
spring since I was a little child playing on the rocks at 
White Island. Oh the delicious dawns and crimson 
sunsets, the calm blue sea, the tender sky, the chorus 
of the birds ! It all makes me so happy ! Sometimes 

25 1 wonder if it is wise or well to love any spot on this old 
earth as intensely as I do this ! 1 am wrapped up in 



COLLECTION OF LETTERS 241 

measureless content ° as I sit on the steps in the sun in 
my little garden, where the freshly turned earth is 
odorous of the spring. How I hope you can come to 
us this summer ! Every year I plant the garden, for 
your dear eyes, with yellow flowers. I never forget 5 
those lovely summers long ago when you came and 
loved my flowers. 

I am going to send you with this a little copy of an 
old picture of Karl and myself when we were babes 
together, he one year old, I eighteen. 10 

Thank you for the beautiful poem you enclosed. 

It is most lovely. You ask what I have been writing ? 

A great deal, for me. I wish I had sent you the April 

" St. Nicholas, " ° for in it is a version I made of Tolstoi's 

" Where love is there is God also." I had such rever- 15 

ence for the great author's work I hardly dared touch 

it, but I did it with the greatest love. I called it " The 

Heavenly Guest." Dear Sarah Jewett has a sweet 

story begun in the April number, and my poem follows. 

Ever with deep, gentle, grateful love, 20 

Your C. T. 

(101) John Ruskin to a College Friend 

53 Russell Terrace, Leamington. 
(My future address till further notice.) 
September 27 (Postmark, 1S41)° 
My dear C, — Your kind letter of the 18th with its 25 
dissertation on the duties of correspondence puts me 



242 COLLECTION OF LETTERS 

into a very particular quandary. For after a great 
many generalities about sensible and useful letter- 
writers — and very proper resolutions to drop all who 
are not sensible and useful in all they say or write — 
5 you ask me pointedly whether I think this a correct 
line to draw. To which query, if I give a definite 
answer, you may turn round upon me with an " Out of 
thine own mouth will I judge thee/' and vow you will 
have nothing more to do with anybody writing such a 

10 cramped hand and so much nonsense. Wherefore all 
I can say is, that if you keep me you may cut as many 
other people as you like ; and if you cut me your princi- 
ples are radically wrong. You say chit-chat on both 
sides is wrong. Would it be wrong to rest yourself in 

is conversational chit-chat? and is the stroke of the pen so 
very laborious as to render that which from the tongue 
is recreation, labor from the fingers — to make what 
would be innocent in sound, criminal in sight? Are 
there not many five minutes in the course of the week 

20 when an instant's odd feeling might be noted down, a 
perishing thought arrested, a passing "castle in the air" 
expressed — with much pleasure to your friend, and 
perhaps some even to yourself? I rather think that 
the choice of our correspondents should be referred 

25 rather to our feelings of pleasure than of duty. If I 
think a person can sympathise with me in a stray feel- 
ing I have pleasure in communicating it ; and more in 
doing so on paper than by words, because I can do it 



COLLECTION OF LETTERS 243 

more completely. Therefore I do not look to my 
correspondence as a duty to be performed, but as the 
very best mode of entering into society, because one 
talks on paper without ever uttering absolute truisms 
to fill up a pause, without ever losing one's temper, 5 
without forgetting what one has got to say, without 
being subjected to any of the thousand and one ills 
and accidents of real conversation. Therefore if I 
like a friend at all, I like him on paper. And to say I 
will not correspond with a person is just the same as 10 
saying I will not know him more than I am compelled 
to do. This is going very far — but I hate society in 
general. I have no pleasure, but much penance, in 
even the presence of nine out of ten human beings. 
Those only I like to be with, whom I like to write to — 15 
and vice versa. I think, therefore, when you say that 
you cannot conscientiously correspond with people, it 
is much the same as saying you cannot associate with 
them. For surely time is generally ten thousand times 
more wasted in the commonplaces of the tongue, than 20 
in selecting such pieces of our mind as would be glad 
of sympathy, and folding them in the sheet of paper 
for our friend. I don't think it ought to be labor. You 
should learn to write with your eyes shut, and then it is 
mere exercise of the right hand. 25 

You ask me if I am thinking about my degree. If my 
health continues to improve I shall go up for a pass 
next Easter. Jephson says he will make me perfectly 



244 COLLECTION OF LETTERS 

well ; he has made me much fatter already — or, to 
speak more correctly, less lean. Chest I think a little 
better ; altogether I am under no anxiety. 

I am sorry to say I know absolutely nothing of ento- 
5 mology. I have a great respect for the science ; but 
I always thought it a disagreeable one in practice, 
partly for the constant life-taking, partly from the con- 
catenation of camphoric smells which one's collection 
constantly exhales, and partly because — to make any 

10 progress — a constant dissection and anatomising 
must be gone into, really as laborious and half as dis- 
gusting as any transaction at Surgeons' Hall. I was 
much tempted to begin botany among the ruins of 
Rome, but I found it did not suit my eyes at all, and 

15 gave it up. I find quite enough to do with the sciences 
necessary to geology. Chemistry and fossil ichthyology 
are enough for a lifetime in themselves. Do you know, 
I don't remember recommending any political life of 
Burke. Nor do I think such a thing has been produced 

20 by any friend of mine. You had better think over your 
acquaintances, lest you pass the real recommender 
thankless by. 

You ask me if I would not prefer notes often to letters 
seldom. I don't know. Notes are always half filled 

25 up with dates and signatures and formulas. But if, 
without wasting time on any such rubbish, you will 
write on pleasantly and easily to yourself, and as the 
bits are done send each off — a thought now and a 



COLLECTION OF LETTERS 245 

thought then, with E. C. at the bottom and no "my 
dear J.," nor hopes of anything, nor remembrance to 
anybody — then I should most certainly prefer hearing 
often of you to getting a double sheet once a twelve- 
month. Remember, however, that the notes are the 5 
actual losers of time in folding, sealing and posting. 
Still I am not sure that I should not be the gainer by it, 
for unless you keep your long letters by you, and write 
a bit now and a bit then, there will certainly be less 
in it than in the aggregate of notes. ic 

I am a sad fellow for new books — I see very few. 
Allison's " History of Europe " has an over-reputation 
at present. I am reading it, and find it verbose and 
inconsistent with itself in opinions and arguments. 
But as a statement of facts I should think it excellent. 15 
There were several things I had to say I haven't said, 
but I will write again soon. Sincere regards to all your 
family. 

Ever most truly your friend, 

J. RUSKIN. 20 

(102) John Richard Green to Mrs. Humphry Ward 

Hotel Quisisana, Isola di Capri, 
January 15, 1873. 

I have just been reading over Humphry's last letter 
again, dear Mary, and fell so terribly a-longing for the 
villa which I have never seen, the new semi-grand " by 
Kaps," the cat and the china, the long winter evenings 



246 COLLECTION OF LETTERS 

and chats among the knick-knackeries, that I had to 
rush out on to the hillside and bask myself into content 
in the sunshine. It is worrying, I know, to be always 
. harping on the sunshine ; but really it is one's life here, 
5 the one great daily marvel and daily joy, this uninter- 
rupted succession of hot summer days which drive one 
in sometimes for shade, and which makes one sit down 
— as I did this afternoon — every half hour to wipe 
one's brow T and mutter "very hot," as one might in the 

10 hottest August of England. I keep a sun-diary, and I 
find that since the 15th of December, i.e. during a whole 
month, we have had only two cloudy days, and of those 
one was quite warm, nor has there been a drop of rain. 
The days have been blue, cloudless, summer days; 

15 much of the fine blue owing no doubt to a slight north 
wind, but that matters nothing here as we are wholly 
sheltered on one side of the island from every wind but 
the South. It is this which makes the Island so greatly 
preferable as a winter station to the Riviera, where the 

20 sunshine is chequered with biting east and southeast 
winds of truly English quality, especially in March. 
I shall certainly spend March here — it is something 
to have found a place where one can live unscourged 
by Kingsley's "wind of God." 

25 I wonder whether Capri will equal the Riviera in its 
spring-burst of flowers ? As yet we have only plenty of 
anemones, and a beautiful blue flower on the hills 
whose name I don't know, and certain crocuses in a 



COLLECTION OF LETTERS 247 

precipitous spot I haven't ventured to. I shall be 
almost sorry, I think, if I do find anything anywhere to 
equal that sight of beautiful wonder, the sudden flush- 
ing of terrace after terrace into bright banks of color 
which will always be associated in my mind with San 5 
Remo.° 

Of course I am wonderfully well — in other words it 
is sunshine — but one thing is becoming clearer and 
clearer to me, and that is that I have got to the end of 
my improvement tether. I am a different fellow to 10 
what I was even a year ago; but I am afraid I shall 
never be much better than I am, and that I must lay 
aside all hope of what people call a "cure." Increased 
strength seems to bring little ability to face the least 
cold, the least anxiety or over-exertion. It is easier 15 
than it was of old to pick myself up, but I run down just 
as fast as I ever did. I should have thought little of 
this even a year ago; but like a fool I had begun to 
nurse silly hopes of "being well again," and doing as 
other folk do, and now I find it a little hard to face the 20 
truth — the truth that I must resign myself if I live 
to the life of an invalid — the (illegible) that is so out 
of harmony with my natural temper. I don't grumble 
— for after all such a life is no obstacle to quiet writing, 
and may perhaps lead one to a truer end of life than 25 
one had planned. But sometimes there comes on me a 
rebellion against the quiet of the student life, a rush of 
energy and longing to "battle," and then it is hard to 



248 COLLECTION OF LETTERS 

beat one's wings against the cage the Fates have made 
for one. 

I wonder whether it will end in my settling down in 
some sunny Italian nook, in this Capri for example? 
5 If I can never hope to " spend a winter in England/' 
which seems likely enough, if I can never return till 
the end of May, and must flit again at the close of 
September — would it not be better to give up the 
notion of an "English home" altogether, and look on 

10 England only as a summer holiday run ? This is what 
my thoughts run on, and the more so because with my 
books in England I am so terribly hampered in writing. 
I want to bring home my "Little Book" finished, and 
then after " Little France, " which will take a couple of 

i 5 months I suppose, to plunge fairly into the Angevins. 
But the "Angevins" want a library at one's elbow, 
and in a month or so after beginning them would come 
the order to depart. I am very, very puzzled ; how I 
wish I had married long ago, before it was cowardly to 

20 think of marrying, as it is now I take it. One has no 
right to ask a woman to tie herself to a fellow who must 
live in sunshine. The artists here have a way of marry- 
ing Caprese donkey-girls and the like, and perhaps I 
might aspire to a donkey-girl. As to beauty she would 

25 be perfect. I know half a dozen donkey-girls here w T ho 
are more beautiful than any Englishwoman I ever saw. 
I wish you and other people hadn't spoilt me for marry- 
ing with donkey-girls, and filled me with dreams of 



COLLECTION OF LETTERS 249 

"cosy chats" and pretty knick-knackeries and a grand 
piano "by Kaps." 

The young parroco comes to me to-night to begin my 
Italian lessons. I am curious to know him, for he is 
evidently an active fellow — a reformer who has so - 
roused the wrath of the easy going old Canons that on 
St. Stephen's Day they set on him with the big candles 
in the Sacristy vowing they " would make a St. Stephen 
of him," has roused the wrath of the artists by refusing 
to give absolution to any girl who sits as a model, and 10 
the wrath of the island at large by making war on the 
Tarantella, but with all this has taught himself Eng- 
lish, has a good library of English Tauchnitzes, and 
is the only man in the island who doesn't rest on far 
niente and the dolcezza thereof. 15 

He hasn't put down the Tarantella, for the simple 
reason that it is born in the people, and that the moment 
you sing or dance off they go in the prettiest, most 
bewitching dance the sun ever shone on. . It is amusing 
to see the little ones begin, and then the spell to spread 20 
to the bronzed fisherman looking on who suddenly flings 
up his arms, and bounds lightly as air over to the stalwart 
"Costanza," who puts down her great basket from her 
head and sways from side to side in that indescribable 
way, and then the old women begin to clap their hands, 25 
and the old men to drum in tune on the ground, and 
every one to laugh, to sing, to dance, and so the world 
goes round. A buon genti° these Caprese — as they al- 



250 COLLECTION OF LETTERS 

ways call themselves, always ready for a joke, a chat, 
a halfpenny, liking best people who laugh with them, 
ask after their boys' schooling, and carry out the doc- 
trine of equality in the practical Italian fashion. 
5 Good-bye. — Yours affectionately, 

J. G. R. 

(103) Horace Walpole to the Reverend William Mason 

Nov. 27, 1775. 
I thought it long since I heard from you. It is 
plain you did not forget me, for the first moment of an 

io opportunity to show me kindness made you show it. 
Fortunately I had written to Lord Strafford the very 
day you wrote to me, and our letters passed each other, 
though without bowing. I think it still more fortunate 
that I had not written sooner, because I like to be 

15 obliged to you. I had delayed because in truth I had 
nothing to say but what I thought; and when my 
friends and I do not think alike, I prefer silence to con- 
tradiction or disputes, for I cannot say what I do not 
think, especially to my friends ; to other people one can 

20 talk a good deal of nonsense, which serves instead of 
thinking. 

Your delay of coming displeases me, because what I 
wish, I wish for immediately. When spring comes, 
I shall be glad my joy was postponed, and I like better 

25 to see you at Strawberry than in town, especially 



COLLECTION OF LETTERS 251 

when Strawberry is in its beauty : and as you and it 
are two chiefs of the few pleasures I have left, or to 
come, I am luxurious and love a complete banquet. 

What shall I say more ? talk politics ? no ; we think 
too much alike. England w r as, Scotland is — indeed 5 
by the blunders the latter has made one sees its Irish 
origin, — but I had rather talk of anything else. I see 
nothing but ruin, whatever shall happen ; and what idle 
solicitude is that of childless old people, who are anxious 
about the first fifty years after their death, and do not 10 
reflect that in the eternity to follow, fifty or five hundred 
years are a moment, and that all countries fall sooner 
or later. 

Naturally I fly to books : there is a finis too, for I 
cannot read Dean Tucker, nor Newspapers. We 15 
have had nothing at all this winter but 'Sterne's 
Letters/ and what are almost as nothingly — Lady 
Luxborough's. She does not write ill, or, as I expected, 
affectedly, like a woman, but talks of scrawls, and of her 
letters being stupid. She had no spirit, no wit, knew no 20 
events; she idolises poor Shenstone, who was scarce 
above her, and flatters him, to be flattered. A stronger 
proof of her having no' taste is, that she says coldly, 
she likes Gray's 'Churchyard' well. In good truth 
the productions of this country and age are suited to 25 
its natives. Mr. Cumberland, the maker of plays, 
told me lately, it was pity Gray's Letters were printed ; 
they had disappointed him much. No doubt he likes 



252 COLLECTION OF LETTERS 

Sterne's, and Shenstone's and Lady Luxborough's. 
Oh ! Dodsley, print away ; you will never want authors 
or readers, unless a classic work like ' Gray's Life' 
should, as Richardson said of Milton, be "born two 

5 thousand years after its time ! " 

I approve your printing in manuscript, that is, not 
for the public, for who knows how long the public will 
be able, or be permitted to read? Bury a few copies 
against this Island is rediscovered. Some American 

10 versed in the old English language will translate it, 
and revive the true taste in gardening ; though he will 
smile at the diminutive scenes on the little Thames 
when he is planting a forest on the banks of the Oronoko. 
I love to skip into futurity and imagine what will be 

15 done on the giant scale of a new hemisphere ; but I am 
in little London, and must go and dress for a dinner 
with some of the inhabitants of that ancient metropolis, 
now in ruins, which was really for a moment the capital 
of a large empire, but the poor man who made it so, 

2c outlived himself and the duration of the empire. 

(104) Horace Walpole to the Countess of Ossory 

Strawberry Hill, Christmas night, 1773. 

You must not expect, Madam, not to be scolded, 

when you excuse yourself so well. You and the King 

of Prussia, and Major-General Xenophon, shine more 

25 by retreats after a defeat occasioned by your own faults, 



COLLECTION OF LETTERS 253 

than others by victories. I am now doubly obliged to 
rate you, for you have made me your ghostly father, 
and confessed your sins of omission; indeed, we old 
directors are more tickled with details of those com- 
mitted, and are so afraid the penitent should forget the 5 
minutest circumstance ! This part of my office, you 
tell me, is to be a sinecure for the future ; it is well I 
have so good an opinion of you, Madam, or don't you 
think my imagination would help me a little, as well 
as you suppose it does in filling up your sentences ? 10 

Your reflection on Madame de Grignan's letter after 
her mother's death is just, tender, and admirable, 
and like the painter's ° hiding Agamemnon's face, when 
he despaired of expressing the agony of a parent. No, 
Madame de Sevigne could not have written a letter of 1 5 
grief, if her daughter had died first. Such delicacy in 
sentiment women only can feel. We can never attain 
that sensibility, which is at once refined and yet natural 
and easy, and which makes your sex write letters so 
much better than men ever did or can ; and which if 20 
you will allow me to pun in Latin, though it seems your 
ladyship does not understand that language, I could lay 
down an infallible truth in the words of my godfather, 

" Pennis non homini datis," 

the English of which is, " it was not given to man to ^5 
write letters." . . . 

I have not a word more to say ; and this being but a 



254 COLLECTION OF LETTERS 

parcel of answers to questions, no matter when it sets 
out. As your confessor, I dispense with, nay, enjoin 
your breaking your last rash vow, of writing no more 
long letters ; nay, you have not written a long one yet. 

5 The god of letter-writing does not, like the god of 
Chancery Lane, count by sheets of paper or parchment. 
If your Ladyship's pen straddles, like the giant's boots, 
over seven leagues or pages at once, the packet is the 
heavier, but the letter has not a word the more in it. 

10 1 am grateful for every syllable you do write, nay, am 
reasonable, and do not expect volumes from the coun- 
try; but I cannot allow that a sheet and a half are 
longer than one sheet, when they hold no more. I 
speak from self-interest ; I write so close that these two 

is pages and a bit would make three sheets in your Lady- 
ship's hand; and then what apologies and promises 
I should have to make for the enormity of my letters. 
Well, this is not a reproof, but a mark of my attention 
to all you say and do; and how determined I am to 

20 bate nothing of the intrinsic. This has been a very 
barren half year. The next, I hope, will reinstate my 
letters in their proper character of newspapers. 

(105) Horace Walpole to the Countess of Ossory 

Strawberry Hill, Oct. 8, 1777. 
Write to Sir George about my own writings ! — sure, 
25 Madam, you do not think I would for the world ! 



COLLECTION OF LETTERS 255 

What in the name of fortune could I write but affecta- 
tion and false modesty ? — and then he writes again, 
and is more civil ; and I then protest I cannot spell my 
own name; and then and then, I am in for a new 
correspondence. I beg to be excused. 5 

I have time to write to nobody but on business, or to 
a few that are used to my ways, and with whom I don't 
mind whether I stand on my head or my heels. I beg 
your honor's pardon, for you are one to whom I can 
write comfortably, though I know you keep my letters ; 10 
and it is, I must say, no small merit or courage that I 
still continue to write to you, without having the fear 
of sense before my eyes; but since neither Aristotle 
nor Bossu° have laid down rules for letters, and con- 
sequently have left them to their native wildness, I shall 15 
persist in saying whatever comes uppermost, and the 
less I am understood by anybody but the person I write 
to, so much the better. St. Paul is my model for letter- 
writing, who being a man of fashion, and very unaf- 
fected, never studies for what he shall say, but in one 20 
paragraph takes care of Timothy's soul, and in the next 
of his own cloak. 

However, though I will not engage with him in per- 
son, I must beg your good Ladyship to assure Sir 
George, I mean Lord Macartney, how very sensible 1 2s 
am of his partiality to me ; which at least I will never 
forfeit, for you may safely take your Bible oath to him 
that I have entirely forsworn being an author. " Quod 



256 COLLECTION OF LETTERS 

seripsi, scripsi ;" and the things must shift for them- 
selves; but the clock has struck threescore; and if I 
have not written very foolishly, I will take care that I 
will not. My outward man is so weak and shattered, 
5 that in all probability the inward has its share in the 
delabrement ; but as of that I can be no judge myself, 
and as I am sure nobody will tell me, it is rather wiser 
not to risk exposing myself. The Catalogue of my 
collection will be no more worth reading than one of 

10 Christie's auction-books, and the prints are not yet half 
finished. Lord Macartney shall have one as soon as 
any man ; he has always been kind to me ; I have a 
very sincere regard for him; and particularly for his 
infinite goodnature, which I value in him, and in any- 

15 body, more than their parts. I rejoice in his good 
fortune, especially as it is due to his amiable qualities, 
for what is so glorious as to have the governed reward 
their governor ! The gratitude of a whole people is 
the noblest of all epitaphs. . . . 

20 You ask when will American news come? A cargo 
is come, and if you are a sound courtier, Madam, you 
will believe every tittle, though it comes from Margate, 
which is not exactly the side of our island nearest to 
America. What is more strange, is, that though every 

25 one of our generals has gained a separate victory, every 
one of them is too modest to have sent any account of it. 
However, one captain of a sloop happened to be at the 
very point and moment of intelligence when all the 



COLLECTION OF LETTERS 257 

accounts arrived at New York. In London, I hear, 
there are very contradictory letters. I am assured too 
that an officer is arrived, but the Gazette was so afflicted 
for the Margravine Dowager of Bareith, that it forgot 
to let us know what he says. In fine, it is believed that 5 
General Howe was on his march to Philadelphia; all 
the rest is thought to be hartshorn for the stocks and 
the lottery tickets. Don't you begin to think, Madam, 
that it is pleasanter to read history than to live it? 
Battles are fought, and towns taken in every page, but 10 
a campaign takes six or seven months to hear, and 
achieves no great matter at last. I dare to say Alexan- 
der seemed to the coffee-houses of Pella a monstrous 
while about conquering the world. As to this American 
war, I am persuaded it will last to the end of the cen- 15 
tury ; and then it is so inconvenient to have all letters 
come by the post of the ocean ! People should never go 
to war above ten miles off, as the Grecian States used to 
do. Then one might have a Gazette every morning at 
breakfast. I hope Bengal will not rebel in my time, for 20 
then one shall be eighteen months between hearing 
that the army has taken the field and is gone into winter- 
quarters. 

My nephew, George Cholmondeley (for I am uncle 
to all the wx>rld), dined here to-day, and repeated part 25 
of a very good copy of verses from Sheridan to Mrs. 
Crewe. Has your Ladyship seen them? I trust 
they will not long retain their MS.-hood. 



258 COLLECTION OF LETTERS 

(106) James Russell Lowell to E. L. Godkin 

Elmwood, 20th Dec, 1871. 

I haven't looked into Taine's book since it first 
appeared seven years ago, and as I had no thought of 
reviewing it, I find that I did not mark it as I read. To 

5 write a competent review, I should have to read it all 
through again, for which I have neither time nor the head 
just now. I have just been writing about Masson's 
"Life of Milton" for the N. A.° and the result has con- 
vinced me that my brain is softening. You are the 

io only man I know who carries his head perfectly steady, 
and I find myself so thoroughly agreeing with the Nation 
always that I am half persuaded I edit it myself ! Or 
rather you always say what I would have said — if I 
had only thought of it. 

15 I am thinking of coming to New York for a day or two 
next week to see you and a few other friends. Some- 
how my youth is revived in me, and I have a great long- 
ing for an hour or two in Page's studio to convince me 
that I am really only twenty-four as I seem to myself. 

20 So get ready to be jolly, for I mean to bring a spare 
trunk full of good spirits with me and to forget that I 
have ever been professor or author or any other kind of 
nuisance. Just as I was in fancy kicking off my ball 
and chain, a glance at the clock tells me I must run 

25 down to college ! But when I come to N. Y. (since I 
can't get rid of them) I shall wear 'em as a breastpin. 



COLLECTION OF LETTERS 259 

I have seen some nearly as large. Dickens had one 
when I first saw him in '42. 

Give Schenck another shot. Also say something on 
the queer notion of the Republican party that they can 
get along without their brains. " Time was that when 5 
the brains were out the man would die," ° but nous avons 
change tout cela. 

(107) James Russell Lowell to JE. L. Godkin 

Elmwood, 16th July, 1874. 

Thanks for your greeting. Give my love to Mrs. 
Godkin and tell her I don't change my opinion of people 10 
so lightly. I made up my mind about the Nation and 
its editor (and his wife) a good while ago and am not 
very likely to shift while I keep my wits. As to what 
the Nation may have said of me, that is its affair and 
not mine. When I have done my best, I am so made 15 
that I do not bother myself about w T hat other people 
think. If one have done a good thing, no conspiracy 
can keep it secret long, and if one have trusted himself 
to a balloon with a leak in it, no puffing of the aeronaut, 
still less of his friends below, will save it from coming 20 
back to earth again with a bump. So far as I know, the 
Nation has always treated me quite as well as I deserve, 
and if not, why, God be praised, I do not base my judg- 
ment of men on their opinions of me. I stayed at 
Geneva several weeks longer than I intended, mainly 25 
because it was the only town on the Continent where 



260 COLLECTION OF LETTERS 

. I could buy the Nation — more shame to you ! You 
might at least have an agency in Paris. All the time 
I was without it, my mind was chaos, and I didn't feel 
that I had a safe opinion to swear by. If this do not 
5 set Mrs. Godkin's heart at ease (for I am sure her wits 
had nothing to do with her solicitude), I shall have to 
invent some graceful lie as I learned to do in Gaul. 

Thus far I have nothing to complain of at home but 
the heat, which takes hold like a bull-dog after that 

10 toothless summer of England, where they have on the 
whole the best climate this side of Dante's terrestrial par- 
adise. The air there always seems native to my lungs. 
As for my grandson, he is a noble fellow and does me 
great credit. ... I am going to Southborough to-day 

i^ on a visit to him, for I miss him woundilv. If vou 
wish to taste the real bouquet of life, I advise. you to 
procure yourself a grandson, whether by adoption or 
theft. The cases of child-stealing one reads of in the 
newspapers now T and then may all, I am satisfied, be 

20 traced to this natural and healthy instinct. A grand- 
son is one of the necessities of middle life and may be 
innocently purloined (or taken by right of eminent 
domain ) on the tabula in naufragio principle. Get 
one, and the Nation will no longer offend anybody. 

25 I rejoice to hear of the Nation's prosperity as a piece 
of general good fortune. May your pen be as sharp as 
ever — except in the case of elderly poets, if such are 
possible. 



XI. Counsel and Advice 

(108) Lord Chesterfield to His San° 

Bath, October 4, 1738. 
My dear Child : — By my writing so often, and 
by the manner in which I write, you will easily see 
that I do not treat you as a little child, but as a boy 
who loves to learn, and is ambitious of receiving in- 5 
structions. I am even persuaded, that, in reading 
my letters, you are attentive, not only to the subject 
of which the}' treat, but likewise to the orthography 
and to the style. It is of the greatest importance 
to write letters well ; as this is a talent which unavoid- 10 
ably occurs every day of one's life, as w r ell in business 
as in pleasure; and inaccuracies in orthography or 
in style are never pardoned but in ladies. When you 
are older, you will read the " Epistles" (that is to sax- 
Letters) of Cicero; which are the most perfect models 15 
of good writing. A propos of Cicero, I must give you 
some account of him. He was an old Roman, who 
lived eighteen hundred years ago; a man of great 
genius, and the most celebrated orator that ever was. 
Will it not be necessary to explain to you what an 20 
orator is? I believe I must. An orator is a man 

261 



262 COLLECTION OF LETTERS 

who harangues in a public assembly, and who speaks 
with eloquence; that is to say, who reasons well, has 
a fine style, and chooses his w T ords properly. Now 
never man succeeded better than Cicero in all those 

5 different points ; he used sometimes to speak to the 
whole people of Rome assembled; and, by the force 
of his eloquence, persuaded them to whatever he 
pleased. At other times, he used to undertake causes, 
and plead for his clients in courts of judicature; and 

10 in those causes he generally had all the suffrages, that 
is to say, all the opinions, all the decisions, in his favor. 
While the Roman republic enjoyed its freedom, he 
did very signal services to his country; but after it 
was enslaved by Julius Csesar, the first Emperor of 

15 the Romans, Cicero became suspected by the tyrants ; 
and was at last put to death by order of Mark Antony, 
who hated him for the severity of his orations against 
him, at the time that he endeavored to obtain the 
sovereignty of Rome. 

20 In case there should be any words in my letters which 
you do not perfectly understand, remember always to 
inquire the explanation from your mamma, or else to 
seek for them in the dictionary. Adieu. 

(109) The Earl of Chesterfield to His Son 

Isleworth, September 19, 1739, 
25 My dear Child : I am very well pleased with your 
last letter. The writing was very good, and the prom- 



COLLECTION OF LETTERS 263 

ise you make exceedingly fine. You must keep it, 
for an honest man never breaks his word. You en- 
gage to retain the instructions which I give you. 
That is sufficient, for though you do not properly com- 
prehend them at present, age and reflection will, in 5 
time, make you understand them. 

With respect to the contents of your letter, I believe 
you have had proper assistance; indeed, I do not as 
yet expect that you can write a letter without help. 
You ought, however, to try, for nothing is more requi- 10 
site than to write a good letter. Nothing in fact is 
more easy. Most persons who write ill, do so because 
they aim at writing better than they can, by which 
means they acquire a formal and unnatural style. 
Whereas, to write well, we must write easily and natu- 15 
rally. For instance, if you want to write a letter to 
me, you should only consider what you would say if 
you were with me, and then write it in plain terms, 
just as if you were conversing. I will suppose, then, 
that you sit down to write to me unassisted, and 1 20 
imagine your letter would probably be much in these 
words : — 

My dear Papa: I have been at Mr. Maittaire's 
this morning, where I have translated English into 
Latin and Latin into English, and so well, that at the 25 
end of my exercise he has writ optime. I have likewise 
repeated a Greek verb, and pretty well. After this 
I ran home, like a little wild boy, and played till dinner- 



264 COLLECTION OF LETTERS 

time. This became a serious task, for I ate like a 
wolf : and by that you may judge that I am in very 
good health. Adieu. 

Well, sir, the above is a good letter, and yet very 
5 easily written, because it is exceedingly natural. 
Endeavor then sometimes to write to me of yourself, 
without minding either the beauty of the writing or 
the straightness of the lines. Take as little trouble 
as possible. By that means you will by degrees use 
10 yourself to write perfectly well, and with ease. Adieu. 
Come to me to-morrow at twelve, or Friday morning 
at eight o'clock. 

(110) The Earl of Chesterfield to His Son 

Saturday. 
Sir : The fame of your erudition, and other shining 

15 qualifications, having reached to Lord Orrery, he 
desired me, that you might dine with him and his son, 
Lord Boyle, next Sunday ; which I told him you 
should. By this time, I suppose, you have heard 
from him ; if you have not, you must however, go there 

20 between two and three to-morrow, and say that you 

came to wait upon Lord Boyle, according to his Lord- 

ship's orders, of which I informed you. As this will 

deprive me of the honor and pleasure of your company 

ii dinner to-morrow, 1 will hope for it at breakfast, 

25 and shall take care to have your chocolate ready. 



COLLECTION OF LETTER 265 

Though I need not tell one of your age, experience, 
and knowledge of the world, how necessary good- 
breeding is, to recommend one to mankind; yet as 
your various occupations of Greek and cricket, Latin 
and pitch-farthing, may possibly divert your attention 5 
from this subject, I take the liberty of reminding you 
of it, and desiring you to be very well-bred, at Lord 
Orrery's. It is good-breeding alone that can pre- 
possess people in your favor at first sfght, more time 
being necessary to discover greater talents. This 10 
good-breeding, you know, does not consist in low bows 
and formal ceremony; but in an easy, civil and re- 
spectful behavior. You will take care, therefore, 
to answer with complaisance, when you are spoken to ; 
to place yourself at the lower end of the table, unless 15 
bid to go higher; to drink first to the lady of the 
house, and next to the master; not to eat awkwardly 
or dirtily ; not to sit when others stand, and to do all 
this with an air of complaisance, and not with a grave, 
sour look, as if you did it all unwillingly. I do not 20 
mean a silly, insipid smile, that fools have when they 
would be civil; but an air of sensible good-humor. 
I hardly know anything so difficult to attain, or so 
necessary to possess, as perfect good-breeding; which 
is equally inconsistent with a stiff formality and imper- 2$ 
tinent forwardness, and an awkward bashfulness. 
A little ceremony is often necessary, a certain degree 
of firmness is absolutely so ; and an outward modesty 



266 COLLECTION OF LETTERS 

is extremely becoming; the knowledge of the world, 
and your own observations, must, and alone can tell 
you the proper quantities of each. 

Mr. Fitzgerald was with me yesterday, and com- 
5 mended you much ; go on to deserve commendations, 
and you will certainly meet with them. Adieu. 

(Ill) The Earl of Chesterfield to His Son 

London, May 6, O. S., 1751. 

My dear Friend : The best authors are always 
the severest critics of their own works; they revise, 

io correct, file, and polish them, till they think they have 
brought them to perfection. Considering you as my 
work, I do not look upon myself as a bad author, and 
am therefore a severe critic. I examine narrowly 
into the least inaccuracy or inelegance, in order to 

15 correct, not to expose them, and that the work may 
be perfect at last. You are, I know, exceedingly im- 
proved in your air, address, and manners, since you 
have been at Paris ; but still there is, I believe, room 
for further improvement before you come to that 

2c perfection which I have set my heart upon seeing you 
arrive at ; and till that moment I must continue fil- 
ing and polishing. In a letter that I received by last 
post, from a friend of yours at Paris, there was this 
paragraph : " I have the honour to assure you, without 

25 flattery, that Mr. Stanhope succeeds beyond what 



COLLECTION OF LETTERS 267 

might be expected from a person of his age. He goes 
into very good company; and that kind of manner, 
which was at first thought to be too decisive and per- 
emptory, is now judged otherwise; because it is ac- 
knowledged to be the effect of an ingenuous frankness, 5 
accompanied by politeness, and by a proper deference. 
He studies to please, and succeeds. Madame du 
Puisieux was the other day speaking of him with com- 
placency and friendship. You will be satisfied with 
him in all respects." This is extremely well, and 1 10 
rejoice at it : one little circumstance only may, and 
I hope will, be altered for the better. Take pains to 
undeceive those wiio thought that petit ton un peu 
decide et un pen brusque ; as it is not meant so, let it 
not appear so. Compose your countenance to an air 15 
of gentleness and douceur, use some expressions of 
diffidence of your own opinion, and deference to other 
people's ; such as, " If I might be permitted to say — 
I should think — Is it not rather so ? At least I have 
the greatest reason to be diffident of myself." Such 20 
mitigating, engaging words do by no means weaken 
your argument; but, on the contrary, make it more 
powerful by making it more pleasing. . . . Use 
palliatives when you contradict; such as "I may be 
mistaken," "I am not sure, but I believe," "I should 25 
rather think," etc. Finish any argument or dispute 
with some little good-humored pleasantry, to show 
that you are neither hurt yourself, nor meant to hurt 



268 COLLECTION OF LETTERS 

your antagonist; for an argument, kept up a good 
while, often occasions a temporary alienation on each 
side. Pray observe particularly, in those French 
people who are distinguished by that character, cette 
5 douceur de mceurs et de manieres, which they talk 
of so much, and value so justly; see in what it con- 
sists ; in mere trifles, and most easy to be acquired, 
where the heart is really good. Imitate, copy it, till 
it becomes habitual and easy to you. ... If you 

iowere to say to Lady Hervey, Madame Monconseil, 
or such others as you look upon to be your friends, 
It is said that I have a kind of manner which is rather 
too decisive and too peremptory; it is not, however, 
my intention that it should be so; I entreat you to 

15 correct, and even publicly to punish me whenever I 
am guilty. Do not treat me with the least indulgence, 
but criticise to the utmost. So clear-sighted a judge 
as you has a right to be severe ; and I promise you that 
the criminal will endeavor to correct himself. . . . 

20 Dress is also an article not to be neglected; and I 
hope you do not neglect it; it helps in the premier 
abord,° which is often decisive. By dress, I mean your 
clothes being well made, fitting you, in the fashion 
and not above it; your hair well done, and a general 

25 cleanliness and spruceness in your person. I hope you 
take infinite care of your teeth; the consequences of 
neglecting the mouth are serious, not only to one's 
self, but to others. In short, my dear child, neglect 



COLLECTIOX OF LETTERS 269 

nothing ; a little more will complete the whole. Adieu. 
I have not heard from you these three weeks, which 
I think a great while. 

(112) George Hughes to His Son 

The reason you give for having lost a few places is 
no doubt the right one — that you have not got yet 5 
into the swing — it will be all right in a week or two. 
I have no doubt you will get your remove at the 
end of term easily enough. The exam, (if I under- 
stand rightly) consists of subjects which you prepare 
during term, and there is not much " unseen." This io 
will be an advantage to you over the idle ones who 
don't prepare their work. I shall be delighted to help 
you in any way, if you will only let me know T , and give 
me due notice. Perhaps you won't believe me when 
I assure you again, that Latin prose will come to you 15 
as well as cricket and football in good time ; but it is 
the truth nevertheless. At your age I often felt the 
same discouragement which you feel. I had rather 
overgrowm myself like you, and was longer " ripening " 
(to use an expressive phrase) than many fellows who 20 
did not grow so fast ; but it all came right in my case, 
as it will in yours. Therefore en avant° and don't be 
discouraged. . . . 

We are very glad to hear that you are in upper- 
middle one, and it will make us very happy if you can 25 



270 COLLECTION OF LETTERS 

get another remove at Christmas. It is to be done if 
you like, and as you cannot play football just now 
(worse luck) you will have more time. Don't you 
want some help in your tutor work? If so, send me 

5 the book ; or is there anything else in which I can 
help you? You are now rapidly becoming a young 
man, and have probably some influence in the school, 
and will have more. Be kind to the new boys and 
juniors; even if they are "scrubby," your business is 

10 to polish them, and you will do this much better by a 
little kind advice than by making their lives a burden 
(I don't say, mind, that you are unkind to them). 
Don't "bosh"° your masters. Remember that they 
are gentlemen like yourself, and that it is insulting 

15 them to "bosh" them when they are taking trouble 
with you. As to the sixth form, I don't quite approve 
of all the customs thereof, but it is an institution of 
the school, and, on the whole, beneficial, and it is no 
use kicking against it. Now I have done with my 

20 preaching. I don't know that it is necessary, but it 
can do you no harm, and I know you respect my 
opinion. Your mother is horrified at your signing 
yourself "Hughes," tout court (as the French say), 
so to please her don't forget to put in "your affection- 

25 ate son" (as I know you are). God bless you. 
Yours most affectionately, 

G. E. Hughes. 



COLLECTION OF LETTERS 271 

(113) Thomas Henry Huxley to His Son 

4 Marlborough Place, N. W., 
Dec. 10/ 1878. 

Your mother reminds me that to-morrow is your 
eighteenth birthday, and though I know that my 
"happy returns" will reach you a few hours too late, 5 
I cannot but send them. 

You are touching manhood now, my dear laddie, 
and I trust that as a man your mother and I may al- 
ways find reason to regard you as we have done 
throughout your boyhood. io 

The great thing in the world is not so much to 
seek happiness as to earn peace and self-respect. I 
have not troubled you much with paternal didactics 
— but that bit is "ower true" and worth thinking 
over. 15 

(114) Theodore Parker to J. B. Patterson 

Boston, Feb. 28, 1855. 
Dear Young Friend, — I am the person whom 
you met in the cars, and parted from at Albany. I 
sought you in the cars ; but, in the dim light, I failed 
to find you. I took a good deal of interest in the 20 
bright young face, looking so pure and hopeful, and 
thinking, that, some five and twenty years ago, I 
was on the same road that you are now. I am sorry 



272 COLLECTION OF LETTERS 

that you have met with the "misfortune" you refer 
to. It certainly casts a shade over a young man's 
prospect for the moment, not for the day. You have 
a good start thus far, and seem to have laid the foun- 
5 dation well. It will be no misfortune, in the end, that 
* you must get your own education. It will bring out 
the deep, manly elements at an earlier period; will 
make you more thoughtful when you would else have 
been more gamesome and playful. If you are a 

10 teacher, you can find much time to study by yourself. 
I began to teach when seventeen years old, and con- 
tinued it for four winters, working at home on my 
father's farm in the other parts of the year. I always 
found from eight to ten hours a day for study, besides 

15 the work-hours in school. Then I taught a high school 
for three years more, and kept far ahead of the class 
in college of which I was a (nominal) member. You 
can do all that, and perhaps more. 

Perhaps it will be well to pursue the same studies you 

20 would have taken at college, with the addition of such 
as belong to your calling as teacher ; or you may, per- 
haps, teach till you accumulate money enough to go 
through the college at a later date. No good thing is 
impossible to a serious and earnest young man with 

25 good abilities and good moral principles. 

But, above all things, be careful of your health. 
Your success depends on a sound body. Do not vio- 
late the laws which God writes in these tables of flesh. 



COLLECTION OF LETTERS 273 

Let me know where you go and what you find to do, 
and I will write you again when more at leisure. 
Truly your friend, 

Theo. Parker. 



(115) Mrs. Tennyson to Her Son 

Rose Manor, Well Walk, 5 
Monday, Jan. 10th, 1860. 
Dearest Ally, — I received a nice note from 
Alan Ker a short time since, which I now enclose, 
thinking it will give thee pleasure to know what he 
says about thy last beautiful and interesting poems. 10 
It does indeed (as he supposes it would) give me the 
purest satisfaction to notice that a spirit of Christian- 
ity is perceptible through the whole volume. It 
gladdens my heart also to perceive that Alan seems to 
estimate it greatly on that account. O dearest Ally^ 15 
how fervently have I prayed for years that our merciful 
Redeemer would intercede with our Heavenly Father, 
to grant thee His Holy Spirit to urge thee to employ 
the talents He has given thee, by taking every oppor- 
tunity of endeavouring to impress the precepts of His 20 
Holy Word on the minds of others. My beloved son, 
words are too feeble to express the joy of my heart in 
perceiving that thou art earnestly endeavouring to do 
so. Dearest Ally, there is nothing for a moment to be 
compared to the favour of God : I need not ask thee 25 



274 COLLECTION OF LETTERS 

if thou art of the same opinion. Thy writings are a 
<?onvincive proof that thou art. My beloved child, 
when our Heavenly Father summons us hence, may 
we meet, and all that is dear to us, in that blessed 

5 state where sorrow is unknown, never more to be sep- 
arated. I hope Emmy and thyself continue well, 
also the dear little boys. All here join in kindest love 
to both. 

Ever, dearest Ally, 

10 Thy attached and loving mother, 

E. Tennyson. 

(116) Matthew Arnold to His Sister, Mrs. Forster 

Fox How,° Ambleside, 
Sunday (January, 1886). 

My dearest K. — If it is perception you want to 

15 cultivate in Florence, you had much better take some 

science (botany is perhaps the best for a girl, ^ad I 

know Tyndall ° thinks it the best of all for educational 

purposes), and choosing a good handbook, go regularly 

through it with her. Handbooks have long been the 

2 o great want for teaching the natural sciences, but this 

want is at last beginning to be supplied, and for botany 

a text-book based on Henslow's Lectures, which were 

excellent, has recently been published by Macmillan. 

I cannot see that there is much got out of learning the 

25 Latin Grammar except the mainly normal discipline 



COLLECTION OF LETTERS 275 

of learning something much more exactly than one is 
made to learn anything else; and the verification of 
the laws of grammar, in the examples furnished by 
one's reading, is certainly a far less fruitful stimulus 
of one's powers of observation and comparison than 5 
the verification of the laws of a science like botany in 
the examples furnished by the world of nature before 
one's eyes. The sciences have been abominably taught, 
and by untrained people, but the moment properly 
trained people begin to teach them properly they fill 10 
such a want in education as that which you feel in 
Florence's better than either grammar or mathematics, 
which have been forced into the service because they 
have been hitherto so far better studied and known. 
Grammar and pure mathematics will fill a much less 15 
important part in the education of the young than 
formerly, though the knowledge of the ancient world 
will continue to form a most important part in the edu- 
cation of mankind generally. But the way grammar 
is studied at present is an obstacle to this knowledge 20 
rather than a help to it, and I should be glad to see it 
limited to learning thoroughly the example-forms of 
words, and very little more — for beginners, I mean. 
Those who have a taste for philosophical studies may 
push them further, and with far more intelligible aids 25 
than our elementary grammars afterwards. So I 
should inflict on Florence neither Latin nor English 
grammar as an elaborate discipline; make her learn 



276 COLLECTION OF LETTERS 

her French verbs very thoroughly, and do her French 

exercises very correctly ; but do not go to grammar to 

cultivate in her the power you miss, but rather to 

science. 
5 Ever your most affectionate 

M. A. 

(117) John Rusk hi to a College Friend 

(The outside sheet of a letter bearing postmark, August 

19, 1842) 

I have also spent, as I suppose almost everybody 

iohas, much time in endeavoring to color before I could 
draw, and to produce beauty before I could produce 
truth. Luckily, there was always sufficient work in 
my drawings to do my hand a little good; and I got 
on — though very slowly — far enough to see I was 

15 on the wrong road. The time was wasted, but did 
not do me harm. Now I hardly ever touch color — 
never work from imagination — and aim so laboriously 
at truth as to copy, if I have nothing else to copy, the 
forms of the stones in the heaps broken at the side of 

2othe road. Now therefore I am getting on, and look 
forward to ultimate power and success. 

But all this does not apply completely to your case. 
If your other engagements put it out of your power to 
make consistent effort, if you are hopeless of going so 

25 far as to have your reward, do not waste the few mo- 



COLLECTION OF LETTERS 277 

ments you have upon the grammatical work, of which 
quantity is required before it will pay. Ten minutes 
a day, or say a quarter of an hour, regularly and severely 
employed when you get up, or before dinner, or at any 
time when you must be at home, would ensure prog- 5 
ress and power; but if you cannot do this, better 
give your hour a month to amusement. Make it as 
pleasing as you can to yourself; for it would do you 
no real good, however directed. I cannot understand 
even a Prime Minister's being so busy as not to be 10 
able to have a little table and closet or corner, with all 
his things lying constantly ready in their places. No 
putting away and taking out again, mind ; and sitting 
down at quarter to eight every morning, and getting 
up and going down to breakfast at eight — always 15 
locking yourself in, and never talking to anybody, nor 
thinking of anything else at the time. And where so 
little time is given it ought, if possible, to be early in 
the day; otherwise the hand may be shaky and the 
mind distracted — especially with clergymen, or any 20 
persons obliged to pass through serious scenes of duty. 
I do think that, if you are punctual with your meals, 
you would never feel the quarter of an hour, either just 
before or just after breakfast, as any loss to your day. 

I fully agree with you, that the success of your pres- 25 
ent desultory efforts should encourage you, and induce 
you to consistent ones, as proving a certainty of their 
being rewarded; but it should not make you think 



278 COLLECTION OF LETTERS 

you can do without them. Even supposing you to 
succeed to the utmost of your expectations, yet you 
never would gain any certain knowledge of Art. You 
would be perpetually in doubt and indecision respect- 

5 ing what was really right or wrong — liking one thing 
one day, another another — a state very different 
from the gradual dawn and determination of fixed 
principles, which day by day rise out of your prac- 
tice, and prop you for further effort. The delicious 

10 sensation of a new^ truth settled, a new source of beauty 
discovered; for the consequence of real progress in 
art is never that we dislike what w^e once admired, 
but that we admire what we once despised, and that 
progress may always be tested by the power of admi- 

15 ration increased, the capacity for pleasure expanded. 

Time was (when I began drawing) that I used to 

think a picturesque or beautiful tree was hardly to be 

met with once a month ; I cared for nothing but oaks 

a thousand years old, split by lightning or shattered 

20 by wind, or made up for my worship's edification in 
some particular and distinguished way. Now, there 
is not a twig in the closest-clipt hedge that grows, 
that I cannot admire, and wonder at, and take pleas- 
ure in, and learn from. I think one- tree very nearly 

25 as good as another, and all a thousand times more 
beautiful than I once did my picked ones; but I ad- 
mire those more than I could then, tenfold. 

Now this power of enjoyment is worth working for, 



COLLECTION OF LETTERS 279 

not merely for enjoyment, but because it renders you 
less imperfect as one of God's creatures — more what 
he would have you, and capable of forming — I do 
not say truer or closer, because you cannot approach 
infinity — but far higher ideas of His intelligence. 5 
Whether, to attain such an end, you cannot, by a little 
determination, spare a quarter of an hour a day, I 
leave to your conscience. 

I had a great deal more to say, but it would be mer- 
ciless to cross such a hand as mine. 10 

We arrived here this morning, having come back by 
the Rhine from Chamonix, where we stopped a full 
month, with infinite benefit both to body and mind. 
Lost a little in ill-temper at the muddy, humbuggy, 
vinegar-banked Rhine, but very well on the whole. 15 
I will write as soon again as I can, but shall be rather 
busy at home for a month or two. Remember me 

respectfully to Mrs. C and all your circle. With 

best wishes for the renewal of your sister's health, be- 
lieve me ever most truly yours, 20 

J. RUSKIN. 

(118) Abraham Lincoln to John D. Johnston 

January 2, 1851. 

Dear Johnston, Your request for eighty dollars 
I do not think it best to comply with now. At the 
various times when I have helped you a little you 25 



280 COLLECTIOX OF LETTERS 

have said to me, "We can get along very well now" ; 
but in a very short time I find you in the same diffi- 
culty again. Now, this can only happen by some 
defect in your conduct. ^What that defect is, I think 
5 1 know. You are not lazy, and still you are an idler. 
I doubt whether, since I saw you, you have done a 
good whole day's work in any one day. You do not 
very much dislike to work, and still you do not work 
much, merelv because it does not seem to vou that vou 

10 could get much for it. This habit of uselessly wasting 
time is the whole difficulty; it is vastly important to 
vou, and still more so to vour children, that vou should 
break the habit. It is more important to them, 
because they have longer to live, and can keep out of 

15 an idle habit before they are in it, easier than they 
can get out after they are in. 

You are now in need of some money; and what I 
propose is, that you shall go to work, "tooth and nail," 
for somebody who will give you money for it. Let 

20 father and your boys take charge of things at home, 
prepare for a crop, and make the crop, and you go to 
work for the best money wages, or in discharge of any 
debt you owe, that you can get ; and, to secure you a 
fair reward for your labor, I now promise you, that 

25 for every dollar you will, between this and the first of 
May, get for your own labor, either in money or as 
your own indebtedness, I will then give you one other 
dollar. By this, if you hire yourself at ten dollars a 



COLLECTION OF LETTERS 281 

month, from me you will get ten more, making twenty 
dollars a month for your work. In this I do not mean 
you shall go off to St. Louis, or the lead mines, or the 
gold mines in California, but I mean for you to go at 
it for the best wages you can get close to home in Coles s 
County, Now, if you will do this, you will be soon out 
of debt, and, what is better, you will have a habit that 
will keep you from getting in debt again. But, if I 
should now clear you out of debt, next year you would 
be just as deep in as ever. You say you would almost 10 
give your place in heaven for seventy or eighty dollars. 
Then you value your place in heaven very cheap, for 
I am sure you can, with the offer I make, get the 
seventy or eighty dollars for four or five months' 
work. You say if I will 'furnish you the money you is 
will deed me the land, and, if you don't pay the money 
back, you will deliver possession. Nonsense ! If 
you can't now live with the land, how will you then live 
without it? You have always been kind to me, and 
I do not mean to be unkind to you. On the contrary, 20 
if you will but follow my advice, you will find it worth 
more than eighty times eighty dollars to you. 



XII. From a Full Heart 
(119) Louisa May Alcott to Mrs. Bond 

Sunday, Oct. 16, (1887). 

Dear Auntie, — As you and I belong to the " Shut- 
in Society," we may now and then cheer each other 
by a line. Your note and verse are very good to me 
5 to-day, as I sit trying to feel all right in spite of the 
stiffness that won't walk, the rebel stomach that won't 
work, and the tired head that won't rest. 

My verse lately has been from the little poem found 
under a good soldier's pillow in the hospital. 

IO I am no longer eager, bold, and strong, — 

All that is past; 
I am ready not to do 

At last — at last. 
My half -day's work is done; 
I5 And this is all my part. ■ 

I give a patient God 
My patient heart 

The learning not to do is so hard after being the hub 

of the family wheel so long. But it is good for the 

20 energetic ones to find that the world can get on with- 

282 



COLLECTION OF LETTERS 283 

out them, and so learn to be still, to give up, and wait 
cheerfully. 

As we have "fell into poetry," as Silas Wegg says, 
I add a bit of my own; for since you are Marmee 
now, I feel that you won't laugh at my poor attempts 5 
any more than she did, even when I burst forth at 
the ripe age of eight. 

Love to all the dear people, and light to the kind 

eyes that have made sunshine for others so many 

years. . 10 

Always your 

Lu. 

(120) Charles Lamb to Samuel Taylor Coleridge 

September 27, 1796. 
My dearest Friend, — White, or some of my 
friends, or the public papers, by this time may have 15 
informed you of the terrible calamities that have fallen 
on our family. I will only give you the outlines : — 
My poor dear, dearest sister, in a fit of insanity, has 
been the death of her own mother. I was at hand 
only time enough to snatch the knife out of her grasp. .20 
She is at present in a madhouse, from whence I fear 
she must be moved to an hospital. God has preserved 
to me my senses : I eat, and drink, and sleep, and have 
my judgment, I believe, very sound. My poor father 
was slightly wounded, and I am left to take care of 25 
him and my aunt. Mr. Norris, of the Bluecoat 



284 COLLECTION OF LETTERS 

School, has been very very kind to us, and we have 
no other friend; but, thank God, I am very calm 
and composed, and able to do the best that remains 
to do. Write as religious a letter as possible, but no 
5 mention of what is gone and done with. With me 
"the former things are passed away," and I have 
something more to do than to feel. 

God Almighty have us all in His keeping ! 

C. Lamb. 

io Mention nothing of poetry. I have destroyed every 
vestige of past vanities of that kind. Do as you 
please, but if you publish, publish mine (I give you 
free leave) without name or initial, and never send 
me a book, I charge you. 

is Your own judgment will convince you not to take any 
notice of this yet to your dear wife. You look after 
your family ; I have my reason and strength left to take 
care of mine. I charge you, don't think of coming to 
see me. Write. I will not see you if you come. God 

20 Almighty love you and all of us ! n t 

(121) Elizabeth Barrett Browning to Mrs. Martin 

Collegio Ferdinando, Pisa : 
October 20 (?), 1846. 
My dearest Mrs. Martin, — Will you believe 
25 that I began a letter to you before I took this step, 
to give you the w T hole story of the impulses towards it, 



COLLECTION OF LETTERS 285 

feeling strongly that I owed what I considered my 
justification to such dear friends as yourself and Mr. 
Martin, that you might not hastily conclude that you 
had thrown away upon one who was quite unworthy 
the regard of years ? . . . Generous people are in- 5 
clined to acquit generously; but it has been very 
painful to me to observe that with all my mere friends 
I have found more sympathy and trust, than in those 
who are of my own household and who have been daily 
witnesses of my life. . . . But the personal feeling 10 
is nearer with most of us than the tenderest feeling 
for another; and my family had been so accustomed 
to the idea of my living on and on in that room, that 
while my heart was eating itself, their love for me was 
consoled, and at last the evil grew scarcely perceptible. 15 
It was no want of love in them, and quite natural in 
itself : we all get used to the thought of a tomb ; and 
I was buried, that was the whole. It was a little thing 
even for myself a short time ago, and really it would 
be a pneumatological curiosity if I could describe 20 
and let you see how perfectly for years together, after 
what broke my heart at Torquay, I lived on the out- 
side of my own life, blindly and darkly from day to 
day, as completely dead to hope of any kind as if I 
had my face against a grave, never feeling a personal 25 
instinct, taking trains of thought to carry out as an 
occupation absolutely indifferent to the me which is in 
every human being. . . , 



286 COLLECTION OF LETTERS 

And now I will tell you. It is nearly two years ago 
since I have known Mr. Browning. Mr. Kenyon 
wished to bring him to see me five years ago, as one of 
the lions of London who roared the gentlest and was 
5 best worth my knowing ; but I refused then, in my 
blind dislike to seeing strangers. Immediately, how- 
ever, after the publication of my last volumes, he wrote 
to me, and we had a correspondence which ended in 
my agreeing to receive him as I never had received 

10 any other man. I did not know why, but it was ut- 
terly impossible for me to refuse to receive him, though 
I consented against my will. He writes the most 
exquisite letters possible, and has a way of putting 
things which I have not, a way of putting aside — so 

15 he came. He came, and with our personal acquaint- 
ance began his attachment for me, a sort of infatuation 
call it, which resisted the various denials which were 
my plain duty at the beginning, and has persisted past 
them all. I began with a grave assurance that I was 

20 in an exceptional position and saw him just in conse- 
quence of it, and that if ever he recurred to that sub- 
ject again I never could see him again while I lived; 
and he believed me and was silent. To my mind, 
indeed, it was a bare impulse — a generous man of 

25 quick sympathies taking up a sudden interest with 
both hands ! So I thought ; but in the meantime the 
letters and the visits rained down more and more, and 
in every one there was something which was too slight 



COLLECTION OF LETTERS 287 

to analyse and notice, but too decided not to be under- 
stood; so that at last, when the 'proposed respect' of 
the silence gave way, it was rather less dangerous. So 
then I showed him how he was throwing into the ashes 
his best affections — how the common gifts of youth 5 
and cheerfulness were behind me — how I had not 
strength, even of heart, for the ordinary duties of life 
— everything I told him and showed him. 'Look at 
this — and this — and this, ' throwing down • all my 
disadvantages. To which he did not answer by a 10 
single compliment, but simply that he had not then to 
choose, and that I might be right or he might be right, 
he was not there to decide ; but that he loved me and 
should to his last hour. He said that the freshness of 
youth had passed with him also, and that he had 15 
studied the world out of books and seen many women, 
yet had never loved one until he had seen me. That 
he knew himself, and knew that, if ever so repulsed, 
he should love me to his last hour — it should be first 
and last. At the same time, he would not tease me, 20 
he would wait twenty years if I pleased, and then, if 
life lasted so long for both of us, then when it was 
ending perhaps, I might understand him and feel that 
I might have trusted him. For my health, he had 
believed when he first spoke that I was suffering from 25 
an incurable injury of the spine, and that he never 
could hope to see me stand up before his face, and he 
appealed to my womanly sense of what a pure attach- 



288 COLLECTION OF LETTERS 

ment should be — whether such a circumstance, if it 
had been true, was inconsistent with it. He preferred, 
he said, of free and deliberate choice, to be allowed to 
sit only an hour a day by my side, to the fulfilment of 

5 the brightest dream which should exclude me, in any 
possible world. . . . 

Then at fast I said, 'If you like to let this winter 
decide it, you may. I will allow of no promises nor 
engagement. I cannot go to Italy, and I know, as 

10 nearly as a human creature can know any fact, that 
I shall be ill again through the influence of this English 
winter. If I am, you will see plainer the foolishness of 
this persistence ; if I am not, I will do what you please/ 
And his answer was, ' If you are ill and keep your reso- 

15 lution of not marrying me under those circumstances, 
I will keep mine and love you till God shall take us 
both/ This was in last autumn, and the winter came 
with its miraculous mildness, as you know, and I was 
saved as I dared not hope; my word therefore was 

20 claimed in the spring. Xow do you understand, and 
will you feel for me? An application to my father 
was certainly the obvious course, if it had not been for 
his peculiar nature and my peculiar position. But 
there is no speculation in the case; it is a matter of 

25 knowledge that if Robert had applied to him in the first 
instance he would have been forbidden the house 
without a moment's scruple ; and if in the last (as my 
sisters thought a respectable for m), I should have been 



COLLECTION OF LETTERS 289 

incapacitated from any after-exertion by the horrible 
scenes to which, as a thing of course, I should have 
been exposed. Papa will not bear some subjects, it 
is a thing known; his peculiarity takes that ground to 
the largest. Not one of his children will ever marry 5 
without a breach, which we all know, though he 
probably does not — deceiving himself in a setting 
up of obstacles, whereas the real obstacle is in his own 
mind. ... In my actual state of nerves and physical 
weakness, it would have been the sacrifice of my 10 
whole life — of my convictions, of my affections, and, 
above all, of what the person dearest to me persisted 
in calling his life, and the good of it — if I had observed 
that 'form/ Therefore, wrong or right, I determined 
not to observe it, and, wrong or right, I did arid do 15 
consider that in not doing so I sinned against no duty. 
That I was constrained to act clandestinely, and did 
not choose to do so, God is witness, and will set it down 
as my heavy misfortune and not my fault. Also, up 
to the very last act we stood in the light of day for the 20 
whole world, if it pleased, to judge us. I never saw 
him out of the Wimpole Street house ; he came twice 
a week to see me — or rather, three times in the fort- 
night, openly in the sight of all, and this for nearly 
two years, and neither more nor less. Some jests used 25 
to be passed upon us by my brothers, and I allowed 
them without a word, but it would have been infamous 
in me to have taken any into my confidence who 
u 



290 COLLECTION OF LETTERS 

would have suffered, as a direct consequence, a blight- 
ing of his own prospects. My secrecy towards them 
all was my simple duty towards them all, and what 
they call want of affection was an affectionate consid- 
s eration for them. . . . 

The* only time I met R. B. clandestinely was in the 
parish church, where we were married before two wit- 
nesses — it was the first and only time. I looked, he 
says, more dead than alive, and can well believe 

10 it, for I all but fainted on the way, and had to stop for 
sal volatile at a chemist's shop. The support through 
it all was my trust in him, for no woman who ever 
committed a like act of trust has had stronger motives 
to hold by. Now may I not tell you that his genius, 

15 and all but miraculous attainments, are the least things 
in him, the moral nature being of the very noblest, as 
all who ever knew him admit ? Then he has had that 
wide experience of men which ends by throwing the 
mind back on itself and God ; there is nothing incom- 

20 plete in him, except as all humanity is incompleteness. 
The only wonder is how such a man, whom any woman 
could have loved, should have loved me; but men of 
genius, you know, are apt to love with their imagi- 
nation. Then there is something in the sympathy, 

25 the strange straight sympathy which unites us on all 
subjects. If it were not that I look up to him, we 
should be too alike to be together perhaps, but I know 
my place better than he does, who is too humble. 



COLLECTION OF LETTERS 291 

Oh, you cannot think how well we get on after six 
weeks of marriage. If I suffer again it will not be 
through him. . . . 

The agitation and fatigue were evils, to be sure, 
and Mrs. Jameson, who met us in Paris by a happy 5 
accident, thought me ' looking horribly ill ' at first, and 
persuaded us to rest there for a week on the promise 
of accompanying us herself to Pisa to help Robert 
to take care of me. He, who was in a fit of terror 
about me, agreed at once, and so she came with us, 10 
she and her young niece, and her kindness leaves us 
both very grateful. So kind she was, and is — for 
still she is in Pisa — opening her arms to us and call- 
ing us 'children of light ' instead of ugly names, and 
declaring that she should have been 'proud' to havers 
had anything to do with our marriage. . . . The 
change of air has done me wonderful good notwith- 
standing the fatigue, and I am renewed to the point of 
being able to throw off most of my invalid habits, and 
of walking quite like a woman. Mrs. Jameson said 20 
the other day, 'You are not improved, you are trans- 
formed.' . . , 

With best love to dearest Mr. Martin, ever both my 
dear kind friends, 

Your affectionate and grateful, 25 

Ba. 



292 COLLECTION OF LETTERS 

(122) Rossetti to His Mother 

Kelmscott, 23 February, 1874. 
My dearest Mother, — I have often and often 
thought of you since we last met, — always whenever 
my path in the garden lies by the window of that sum- 

5 mer room at which I used to see your dear beautiful 
old face last summer, reading or enjoying the garden 
prospect. That room is out of use now, as one cannot 
make anything of it in the winter; but I do warmly 
hope that we may renew this coming summer the very 

io happy days we had here last year, and find that room 
a cheerful and pleasant resort again. It would make 
us all happy to see Christina pluck up once more as 
she did the last time. 

To-day the little Morris girls collected all the 

15 flowers we could find in the garden — no very choice 
gleaning — and they were sent on to you, so perhaps 
you will have them ere this reaches you. I know they 
will be better than nothing to your flower-loving heart. 
This extremely mild winter causes many things to be 

20 very forward already. The children were quite 
sorry afterward that they had omitted to send you 
some branches of the palm-willow, with its furry buds 
not yet as yellow as they will be. The gum-cistus 
you planted thrives, but of course is very gradual in 

25 growth. 

******* 



COLLECTION OF LETTERS 293 

Goodbye, dearest darling. I'll enclose a Winter 
Sonnet written lately. 

Your loving 

Gabriel. 

Love to dear good Maggie when you see her. 5 

(123) Matthew Arnold to His Sister, Mrs. Forster 

January 4, 1868. 

My dearest K., — Poor little Basil died this 
afternoon, a few minutes before one o'clock. I sat 
up with him till four this morning, looking over my 
papers, that Flu° and Mrs. Tuffin might get some 10 
sleep, and at the end of every second paper I went to 
him, stroked his poor twitching hand and kissed his 
soft warm cheek, and though he never slept he seemed 
easy, and hardly moaned at all. This morning, about 
six, after I had gone to bed, he became more restless ; 15 
about eleven he had another convulsion; from that 
time he sank. Flu, Mrs. Tuffin, and I were all round 
him as his breathing gradually ceased, then the spasm 
of death passed over his face; after that the eyes 
closed, all the features relaxed, and now as he lies 20 
with his hands folded, and a white camellia Georgina 
Wightman brought him lying on his breast, he is the 
sweetest and most beautiful sight possible. 

And so this loss comes to me just after my forty-fifth 
birthday, with so much other "suffering in the flesh," 25 



294 COLLECTION OF LETTERS 

the departure of youth, cares of many kinds, an 

almost painful anxiety about public matters, — to 
remind me that the time past of our life may suffice us ! 
— words which have haunted me for the last year or 
5 two, and that we " should no longer live the rest of our 
time in the flesh to the lusts of men, but to the will of 
God." However different the interpretation we put 
on much of the facts and history of Christianity, we 
may unite in the bond of this call, which is true for all 
10 of us, and for me, above all, how full of meaning and 
warning. 

Ever, my dearest K., your most affectionate 

M. A. 

(124) Matthew Arnold to His Mother 

Harrow, December 24,° 1868. 

15 My dearest Mother, — I have been doing papers 
till the last moment, but I must put them aside to 
write to you and thank you and Edward, Susy and Fan 
for your letters and good wishes. Now I am within 
one year of papa's age when he ended his life; and 

2ohow much he seems to have put into it, and to what 
ripeness of character he had attained ! Everything 
has seemed to come together to make this year the 
beginning of a new time to me : the gradual settlement 
of my own thought, little Basil's death, and then my 

25 dear, dear Tommy's. And Tommy's death in par- 



COLLECTION OF LETTERS 295 

ticular was associated with several awakening and 
epoch-marking things. The chapter for the day of 
his death was that great chapter, the 1st of Isaiah; 
the first Sunday after his death was Advent Sunday, 
with its glorious collect, and in the Epistle the passage 5 
which converted St. Augustine. All these things point 
to a new beginning, yet it may well be that I am near 
my end, as papa was at my age, but without papa's 
ripeness, and that there will be little time to carry far 
the new beginning. But that is all the more reason for 10 
carrying it as far as one can, and as earnestly as one 
can, while one lives. . . . My love all round. — I 
am always, my dearest mother, your most affectionate 

M. A. 

(125) Rev. Brooke Lambert to Alexander Macmillan 

The Vicarage, Greenwich, 15 
14th March, 1883. 

There seems to me a kind of impertinence in doing 
what I am going to do, but I throw myself on your 
good nature. I want to thank you for staying with 
J. R. Green to the end.° I know from letters thence 20 
from day to day how much it was appreciated. And 
I know too how appropriate it was that one to whom he 
felt he owed so much in life should have been permitted 
to be a comfort to him at the end. He must have told 
you, and yet sometimes these things come home to one 25 



296 COLLECTION OF LETTERS 

more when one hears them through a third person, 
what he felt about your patience and generosity in the 
matter of the Short History. To me he was always 
dwelling on it when the mention of your name came up. 

5 I know that people who do these things don't like 
to be thanked, and yet it seems to me that sometimes 
it is good that people should know what they have 
been able to do. You enabled him to bear up in those 
years when, as he once said to me, he used to lie awake 

10 and think there was only the wwkhouse before him. 
The way in which you bore with the delays, permitted 
the alterations and (do not laugh) gave him "the 
maps," not to mention the grand act° after the book 
became a success — all these things he spoke of to me, 

15 at the time when they brightened his life, and after- 
wards when he spoke of the world as having been kind 
to him. 

It may cheer you in some despondent moments, for 
I suppose we all have such, to be reminded that there 

20 is recognition and gratitude in the world, and sometimes 
one feels as if the expression of that gratitude was 
wanted to make men feel more and more that if, God 
willing, they would always do the thing they felt 
right, the world would be the richer. And so I have 

25 ventured to write, and I know you'll excuse me if I 
have done what you disliked. — Believe me to be yours 
truly, 

Brooke Lambert. 



COLLECTION OF LETTERS 297 

(126) Mrs* Plozzi to Dr. Johnson 

July 4th, 1784. 

Sir, — I have this morning received from you so 
rough a letter in reply to one which was both tenderly 
and respectfully written, that I am forced to desire 
the conclusion of a correspondence which I can bear 5 
to continue no longer. The birth of my second hus- 
band is not meaner than that of my first; his senti- 
ments are not meaner; his profession is not meaner; 
and his superiority in what he professes acknowledged 
by all mankind. It is want of fortune, then, that is 10 
ignominious ; the character of the man I have chosen 
has no other claim to such an epithet. The religion 
to which he has been always a zealous adherent will, 
I hope, teach him to forgive insults he has not de- 
served; mine will, I hope, enable me to bear them at 15 
once with dignity and patience. To hear that I have 
forfeited my fame is indeed the greatest insult I ever 
yet received. My fame is as unsullied as snow, or I 
should think it unworthy of him who must henceforth 
protect it. 20 

I write by the coach, the more speedily and effec- 
tually to prevent your coming hither. Perhaps by 
my fame (and I hope it is so) you mean only that 
celebrity which is a consideration of a much lower 
kind. I care for that only as it may give pleasure to 25 
my husband and his friends. 



298 COLLECTION OF LETTERS 

Farewell, dear Sir, and accept my best wishes. 
You have always commanded my esteem, and long 
enjoyed the fruits of a friendship never infringed by 
one harsh expression on my part during twenty years 
5 of familiar talk. Never did I oppose your will, or 
control your wish; nor can your unmerited severity 
itself lessen my regard ; but till you have changed your 
opinion of Mr. Piozzi, let us converse no more. God 
bless you ! 

(127) Dr. Johnson to Mrs. Piozzi 

io London, 8th July, 1784. 

Dear Madam, — What you have done, however 
I may lament it, I have no pretence to resent, as it 
has not been injurious to me : I therefore breathe out 
one sigh more for tenderness, perhaps useless, but at 

15 least sincere. 

I wish that God may grant you every blessing, that 
you may be happy in this world for its short contin- 
uance, and eternally happy in a better state ; and what- 
ever I can contribute to your happiness I am very 

20 ready to repay, for that kindness which soothed twenty 
years of a life radically wretched. 

Do not think slightly of the advice which I now 
presume to offer. Prevail upon Mr. Piozzi to settle 
in England : you may live here with more dignity 

25 than in Italy, and with more security : your rank will 



COLLECTION OF LETTERS 299 

be higher, and your fortune more under your own eye. 
I desire not to detail all my reasons, but every argu- 
ment of prudence and interest is for England, and 
only some phantoms of imagination seduce you to 
Italy. 

I am afraid, however, that my counsel is vain, yet 
I have eased my heart by giving it. 

When Queen Mary took the resolution of sheltering 
herself in England, the Archbishop of St. Andrew's 
attempting to dissuade her, attended on her journey ; 10 
and when they came to the irremeable stream that 
separated the two kingdoms, walked by her side into 
the water, in the middle of which he seized her bridle, 
and with earnestness proportioned to her danger and 
his own affection, pressed her to return. The Queen 15 
went forward. — If the parallel reaches thus far, 
may it go no farther ! — The tears stand in my eyes. 

I am going into Derbyshire, and hope to be followed 
by your good wishes, for I am, with great affection, 

Yours, etc. 20 

Any letters that come for me hither will be sent me. 

(128) Dr. Johnson to Lord Chesterfield 

February 7, 1775. 
To the Right Honourable the Earl of Chesterfield. 
My Lord, — I have been lately informed, by the 
proprietor of the World, that two papers, in which 25 



300 COLLECTION OF LETTERS 

my Dictionary is recommended to the Publick, were 
written by your Lordship. To be so distinguished, is 
an honour, which, being very little accustomed to the 
favours of the great, I know not well how to receive, 
5 or in what terms to acknowledge. 

When, upon some slight encouragement, I first 
visited your Lordship, I was overpowered, like the 
rest of mankind, by the enchantment of your address ; 
and could not forbear to wish that I might boast my- 

ioself Lc vainqueur du vainqueur dc la terref — that I 
might obtain that regard for which I saw the world 
contending; but I found my attendance so little 
encouraged that neither pride nor modesty would 
suffer me to continue it. ^When I had once addressed 

15 your Lordship in publick, I had exhausted all the art 
of pleasing which a retired and uncourtly scholar can 
possess. I have done all that I could ; and no man is 
well pleased to have his all neglected, be it ever so 
little. Seven years, my Lord, have now past, since I 

20 waited in your outward rooms or was repulsed from 
your door ; during which time I have been pushing on 
my work through difficulties, of which it is useless to 
complain, and have brought it, at last, to the verge of 
publication, without one act 6f assistance, one word of 

25 encouragement, or one smile of favour. Such treat- 
ment I did not expect, for I never had a Patron before. 
The shepherd in Virgil grew at last acquainted with 
Love, and found him a native of the rocks. 



COLLECTION OF LETTERS 301 

Is not a Patron, my Lord, one who looks with un- 
concern on a man struggling for life in the water, and, 
when he has reached ground, encumbers him with 
help ? The notice that you have been pleased to take 
of my labours, had it been early, had been kind ; 5 
but it has been delayed till I am indifferent and can- 
not enjoy it; till I am solitary, and cannot impart 
it ; till I am known, and do not want it. I hope it is 
no very cynical asperity not to confess obligations 
where no benefit has been received, or to be unwilling 10 
that the Publick should consider me as owing that to a 
Patron, which Providence has enabled me to do for 
myself. 

Having carried on my work thus far with so little 
obligation to any favourer of learning, I shall not be 15 
disappointed though I should conclude it, if less be 
possible, with less ; for I have been long wakened from 
that dream of hope, in which I once boasted myself 
with so much exultation, 

My Lord, 20 

Your Lordship's most humble, 

Most obedient servant, 

Sam. Johnsox. 

(129) Thomas Carlyle to His Mother, Scotsbrig 

London, 24th January, 1832. 
My dearest Mother, — I was downstairs this 25 
morning when I heard the Postman's knock, and 



302 COLLECTION OF LETTERS 

thought it might be a Letter from Scotsbrig : hasten- 
ing up I found Jane with the Letter open, and in 
tears. The next moment gave me the stern tidings. 
I had written to you yesterday, a light hopeful letter, 
5 which I could now wish you might not read, in these 
days of darkness : probably you will receive it just 
along with this ; the first red seal so soon to be again 
exchanged for a black one. I had a certain misgiving, 
not seeing Jane's customary " all well " ° ; and I thought, 

10 but did not write (for I strive usually to banish vague 
fears) "the pitcher goes often to the well, but it is 
broken at last." I did not know that this very evil 
had already overtaken us. 

As yet I am in no condition to write much: the 

15 stroke, all unexpected though not undreaded, as yet 
painfully crushes my heart together; I have yet 
hardly had a little relief from tears. And yet it will 
be a solace to me to speak out with you, to repeat 
along with you that great saying, which, could we lay 

20 it rightly to heart, includes all that man can say : 
"It is God that has done it; God support us all!" 
Yes, my dear Mother, it is God that has done it ; and 
our part is reverent submission to His Will, and trust- 
ful prayer to Him for strength to bear us through 

25 every trial. 

I could have wished, as I had too confidently hoped, 
that God had ordered it otherwise : but what are our 
wishes and wills? I trusted that I might have had 



COLLECTION OF LETTERS 303 

other glad meetings and pleasant communings with 
my honored and honor-worthy Father in this world : 
but it was not so appointed; we shall meet no more, 
till we meet in that other Sphere, where God's Presence 
more immediately is ; the nature of which we know not, s 
only we know that it is of God's appointing, and there- 
fore altogether good. Nay already, had we but faith, 
our Father is not parted from us, but only withdrawn 
from our bodily eyes : the Dead and the Living, as I 
often repeat to myself, are alike with God : He, fear- 10 
ful and wonderful, yet good and infinitely gracious, 
encircles alike both them that we see, and them that 
we cannot see. Whoso trusteth in Him has obtained 
the victory over Death: the King of Terrors is no 
longer terrible. 15 

Yes, my dear Mother and Brothers and Sisters, let us 
see also how mercy has been mingled with our calamity. 
Death was for a long time ever present to our Father's 
thought; daily and hourly he seemed meditating on 
his latter end : the end too appears to have been mild 20 
as it was speedy ; he parted, as gently as the most do, 
from this vale of tears ; and Oh ! in his final agony, he 
was enabled to call, with his strong voice and strong 
heart, on the God that had made him to have mercy 
on him. Which prayer, doubt not one of you, the 25 
All-merciful heard, and in such wise as infinite mercy 
might, gave answer to. And what is the Death of one 
dear to us, as I have often thought, but the setting 



304 COLLECTION OF LETTERS 

- out on a journey an hour before us, which journey we 
have all to travel : what is the longest earthly life to 
the Eternity, the Endless, the Beginningless, which en- 
circles it ? The oldest man and the newborn babe are 
5 but divided from each other by a single hair's-breadth. 
For my self I have long continually meditated on 
Death, till, by God's grace, it has grown transparent 
for me, and holy and great rather than terrific ; till I 
see that "Death, what mortals call Death, is properly 

iothe beginning of Life." — One other comfort we have, 
to take the bitterness out of our tears : this greatest 
of all comforts, and properly the only one : that our 
Father was not called away till he had done his work, 
and done it faithfully. Yes, my beloved friends, we 

15 can with a holy pride look at our Father, there where 
he lies low, and say that his Task was well and man- 
fully performed ; the strength that God had given him 
he put forth in the ways of honesty and welldoing; 
no eye will ever see a hollow deceitful work that he 

20 did : the world wants one true man, since he was 
taken away. When we consider his life, through what 
hardships and obstructions he struggled, and what he 
became and what he did, there is room for gratitude 
that God so bore him on. Oh, what were it now to us 

25 that he had been a king ; now when the question is 
not: What wages hadst thou for thy work? But: 
How was thy work done? My dear Brothers and 
Sisters, sorrow not, 1 entreat you ; sorrow is profitless 



COLLECTION OF LETTERS 305 

and sinful; but meditate deeply every one of you on 
this. None of us but started in life with far greater 
advantages than our dear Father had : we will not weep 
for him ; but we will go and do as he has done. Could 
I write my Books, as he built his Houses, and walk 5 
my way so manfully through this shadow-world, and 
leave it with so little blame, it were more than all my 
hopes. Neither are you, my beloved Mother, to let 
your heart be heavy. Faithfully you toiled by his 
side, bearing and forbearing as you both could : all 10 
that was sinful and of the Earth has passed away ; 
all that was true and holy remains forever, and the 
Parted shall meet together again with God. Amen! 
So be it ! We your children, whom you have faith- 
fully cared for, soul and body, and brought up in the 15 
nurture and admonition of the Lord, we gather round 
you in this solemn hour, and say, be of comfort ! Well 
done, hitherto ; persevere and it shall be well ! We 
promise here before God, and the awful yet merciful 
work of God's Hand, that we will continue to love 20 
and honor you, as sinful children can ; now do you 
pray for us all, and let us all pray in such language as 
we have for one another; so shall this sore division 
and parting be the means of a closer union. O let 
us all and every one know that though this world is 25 
full of briars and we are wounded at every step as we 
go, and one by one must take farewell, and weep bit- 
terly, yet "there remaineth a rest for the people of 
x 



306 COLLECTION OF LETTERS 

God." Yes, for the people of God there remaineth a 
Rest, that Rest which in this world they could nowhere 
find. 

And now again I say do not grieve any one of you 
5 beyond what nature forces and you cannot help. Pray 
to God, if any of you have a voice and utterance; 
all of you pray always in secret and silence, if faithful, 
ye shall be heard openly. I cannot be with you to 
speak; but read in the Scripture, as I would have 

iodone. Read, I especially ask, in Matthew's Gospel 
that Passion and Death and Farewell blessing and 
command of "Jesus of Nazareth" ; and see if you can 
understand and feel what is the "divine depth of 
Sorrow"; and how even by suffering and sin man is 

15 lifted up to God, and in great darkness there shines a 
light. If you cannot read it aloud in common, then 
do each of you take his Bible- in private and read it for 
himself. Our business is not to lament, but to im- 
prove the lamentable, and make it also peaceably 

20 work together for greater good. 

I could have wished much to lay my honored Father's 
head in the grave : yet it could have done no one good 
save myself only, and I shall not ask for it. Indeed, 
when I remember, that right would have belonged to 

25 John of Cockermouth, — to whom offer in all hearti- 
ness my brotherly love. I will be with you in spirit, 
if not in person : I have given orders that no one is 
to be admitted here till after the funeral on Friday : I 



COLLECTION OF LETTERS 307 

mean to spend these hours in solemn meditation and 
self-examination, and thoughts of the Eternal; such 
seasons of grief are sent us even for that end : God knocks 
at our heart, the question (is) Will we open or not ? — I 
shall think every night of the Candle burning in that 5 
sheeted room, where our dear Sister also lately lay. 
O God, be gracious to us; and bring us all one day 
together in Himself ! After Friday, I return, as you 
too must, to my worldly work; for that also is work 
appointed us by the heavenly Taskmaster. — I will 10 
write to John to-night or to-morrow. Let me hear 
from you again so soon as you have composure. I 
shall hasten all the more homewards for this. For 
the present I bid God ever bless you all ! Pray for 
me, my dear Mother; and let us all seek consolation 15 
there. 

I am ever your affectionate 

T. Carlyle. 
Most probably you are not in w^ant of money : if 
you are, I have some ten pounds or more which I can 20 
spare here, and you have only to send for it. 

(130) Abraham Lincoln to Mrs. Bixby of Boston 

November 21, 1864. 
Dear Madam, — I have been shown in the files of 
the War Department a statement of the Adjutant- 
General of Massachusetts that you are the mother of 25 



308 COLLECTION OF LETTERS 

five sons who have died gloriously on the field of battle. 
I feel how weak and fruitless must be any words of 
mine which should attempt to beguile you from the 
grief of a loss so overwhelming. But I cannot refrain 

5 from tendering to you the consolation that may be 
found in the thanks of the republic they died to save. 
I pray that our Heavenly Father ma}' assuage the 
anguish of your bereavement, and leave you only the 
cherished memory of the loved and lost, and the solemn 

o pride that must be yours to have laid so costly a sacri- 
fice upon the altar of freedom. 

Yours very sincerely and respectfully, 

A. Lincoln. 



XIII. Other Times: Other Manners 
(131) Aspasia to CI cone 

1 was determined to close my letter when your 
curiosity was at the highest, that you might flutter 
and fall from the clouds like Icarus. I wanted two 
things ; first, that you should bite your lip, an attitude 
in which you alone look pretty ; and secondly, that s 
you should say half-angrily, "This now is exactly like 
Aspasia." I will be remembered; and I will make 
you look just as I would have you. 

How fortunate ! to have arrived at Athens at dawn 
on the twelfth of Elaphebolion. On this day begin the ic 
festivals of Bacchus, and the theatre is thrown open 
at sunrise. 

What a theatre ! what an elevation ! what a prospect 
of city and port, of land and water, of porticoes and 
temples, of men and heroes, of demi-gods and gods ! 15 

It was indeed my wish and intention, when I left 
Ionia, to be present at the first of the Dionysiacs ; but 
how rarely are wishes and intentions so accomplished, 
even when winds and waters do not interfere ! 

309 



310 COLLECTION OF LETTERS 

I will now tell you all. No time was to be lost : so 
I hastened on shore in the dress of an Athenian boy 
who came over with his mother from Lemnos. In 
the giddiness of youth he forgot to tell me that, not 
5 being yet eighteen years old, he could not be admitted ; 
and he left me on the steps. My heart sank within 
me; so many young men stared and whispered; yet 1 
never was stranger treated with more civility. 
Crowded as the theatre was (for the tragedy had begun) 

10 every one made room for me. When they were seated, 
and I too, I looked toward the stage ; and behold there 
lay before me, but afar off, bound upon a rock, a more 
majestic form, and bearing a countenance more heroic, 
I should rather say more divine, than ever my imagina- 

15 tion had conceived ! I know not how long it was before 
I discovered that as many eyes were directed toward 
me as toward the competitor of the Gods. I was 
neither flattered by it nor abashed. Every wish, hope, 
sigh, sensation, was successively with the champion 

20 of the human race, with his antagonist Zeus, and his 
creator ^Eschylus. How often, O Cleone, have we 
throbbed with his injuries ! how often hath his vulture 
torn our breasts ! how often have we thrown our arms 
around each other's neck, and half-renounced the re- 

25 ligion of our fathers ! Even your image, inseparable 
at other times, came not across me then ; Prometheus 
stood between us. He had resisted in silence and dis- 
dain the cruellest tortures that Almightiness could in- 



COLLECTION OF LETTERS 311 

flict; and now arose the Nymphs of ocean, which 
heaved its vast waves before us; and now they de- 
scended with open arms and sweet benign countenances, 
and spake with pity, and the insurgent heart was 
mollified and quelled. 5 

I sobbed; Idropt. 

(132) Pliny to Hispulla 

As you are a model of all virtue, and loved your late 
excellent brother, who had such a fondness for you, 
with an affection equal to his own; regarding too his 
daughter as your child, not only showing her an aunt's io 
tenderness but supplying the place of the parent she 
had lost ; I know it will give you the greatest pleasure 
and joy to hear that she proves worthy of her father, 
her grandfather, and yourself. She possesses an ex- 
cellent understanding together with a consummate 15 
prudence, and gives the strongest evidence of the 
purity of her heart by her fondness of her husband. 
Her affection for me, moreover, has given her a taste 
for books, and my productions, which she takes a 
pleasure in reading, and even in getting by heart, are 20 
continually in her hands. How full of tender anxiety 
is she when I am going to speak in any case, how re- 
joiced she feels when it is got through. While I am 
pleading, she stations persons to inform her from time 
to time how I am heard, what applauses I receive, and 25 



312 COLLECTION OF LETTERS 

what success attends the case. When I recite my works 
at any time, she conceals herself behind some curtain, 
and drinks in my praises with greedy ears. She sings 
my verses too, adapting them to her lyre, with no other 

s master but love, that best of instructors, for her guide. 
From these happy circumstances I derive my surest 
hopes, that the harmony between us will increase with 
our days, and be as lasting as our lives. For it is not 
my youth or person, which time gradually impairs; 

10 it is my honor and glory that she cares for. But what 
less could be expected from one who was trained by your 
hands, and formed bv vour instructions; who was 
early familiarized under your roof with all that is 
pure and virtuous, and who learned to love me first 

15 through your praises ? And as you revered my mother 
with all the respect due even to a parent, so you kindly 
directed and encouraged my tender years, presaging 
from that early period all that my wife now fondly 
imagines I really am. Accept therefore our mutual 

2 o thanks, mine, for your giving me her, hers for your 
giving her me ; for you have chosen us out, as it were, 
for each other. Farew T ell. 

(133) Pliny to Cornelius Tacitus 

The letter which, in compliance with your request, 

I wrote to you concerning the death of my uncle has 

25 raised, it seems, your curiosity to know what terrors and 



COLLECTION OF LETTERS 313 

dangers attended me while I continued at Misenum ; for 
there, I think, my account broke off : 

1 Though my shock' d soul recoils, my tongue shall tell.' ° 
My uncle having left us, I spent such time as was left 
on my studies (it was on their account indeed, that I had 5 
stopped behind), till it was time for my bath. After 
which I went to supper, and then fell into a short and 
uneasy sleep. There had been noticed for many days 
before a trembling of the earth, which did riot alarm us 
much, as this is quite an ordinary occurrence in Cam- io 
pania; but it was so particularly violent that night 
that it not only shook but actually overturned, as it 
would seem, everything about us. My mother rushed 
into my chamber, where she found me rising, in order 
to awaken her. We sat down in the open court of the is 
house, which occupied a small space between the build- 
ings and the sea. As I was at that time but eighteen 
years of age, I know not whether I should call my be- 
havior, in this dangerous juncture, courage or folly ; 
but I took up Livy, and amused myself with turning 20 
over that author, and even making extracts from him, 
as if I had been perfectly at my leisure. Just then, a 
friend of my uncle's, who had lately come to him from 
Spain, joined us, and observing me sitting by my 
mother with a book in my hand, reproved her for her 25 
calmness, and me at the same time for my careless 
security : nevertheless 1 went on with my author. 
Though it was now morning, the light was exceedingly 



314 COLLECTION OF LETTERS 

faint and doubtful ; the buildings all around us tottered, 
and though we stood upon open ground, yet as the place 
was narrow and confined, there was no remaining with- 
out imminent danger: we therefore resolved to quit 

5 the town. A panic-stricken crowd followed us, and 
(as to a mind distracted with terror every suggestion 
seems more prudent than its own) pressed on us in 
dense array to drive us forward as we came out. Being 
at a convenient distance from the houses, we stood 

10 still, in the midst of a most dangerous and dreadful 
scene. The chariots, which we had ordered to be 
drawn out, were so agitated backwards and forwards 
though upon the most level ground, that we could not 
keep them steady, even by supporting them with 

15 large stones. The sea seemed to roll back upon itself, 
and to be driven from its banks by the convulsive 
motion of the earth ; it is certain at least the shore was 
considerably enlarged, and several sea animals were 
left upon it. On the other side, a black and dreadful 

20 cloud, broken w^ith rapid, zigzag flashes, revealed be- 
hind it variously shaped masses of flame : these last 
were like sheet-lightning, but much larger. Upon this 
our Spanish friend, whom I mentioned above, address- 
ing himself to my mother and me with great energy 

25 and urgency : 'If your brother/ he said, 'if your uncle 
be safe, he certainly wishes you may be so too ; but if 
he perished, it was his desire, no doubt, that you might 
both survive him : why therefore do you delay your 



COLLECTION OF LETTERS 315 

escape a moment ? ' We could never think of our own 
safety, we said, while we w r ere uncertain of his. Upon 
this our friend left us, and withdrew from the danger 
with the utmost precipitation. Soon afterwards, the 
cloud began to descend, and cover the sea. It had 5 
already surrounded and concealed the island of Caprese 
and the promontory of Misenum. My mother now 
besought, urged, even commanded me to make my 
escape at any rate, which, as I was young, I might easily 
do ; as for herself, she said, her age and corpulency 10 
rendered all attempts of that sort impossible ; however 
she would willingly meet death if she could have the 
satisfaction of seeing that she was not the occasion of 
mine. But I absolutely refused to leave her, and, tak- 
ing her by the hand, compelled her to go with me. She 15 
complied with great reluctance, and not without re- 
proaches to herself for retarding my flight. The ashes 
now began to fall upon us, though in no great quantity. 
I looked back ; a dense dark mist seemed to be following 
us, spreading itself over the country like a cloud. ' Let 20 
us turn out of the high-road/ I said, 'while we can still 
see, for fear that, should we fall in the road, we should 
be pressed to death in the dark, by the crowds that are 
following us/ We had scarcely sat down when night 
came upon us, not such as we have when the sky is 25 
cloudy, or when there is no moon, but that of a room 
when it is shut up, and all the lights put out. You 
might hear the shrieks of women, the screams of chil- 



316 COLLECTION OF LETTERS 

dren, and the shouts of men; some calling for their 
children, others for their parents, others for their hus- 
bands, and seeking to recognise each other by the voices 
that replied ; one lamenting his own fate, another that 
5 of his family ; some wishing to die, from the very fear 
of dying ; some lifting their hands to the gods ; but the 
greater part convinced that there were now no gods at all, 
and that the final endless night of which we have heard 
had come upon the world. Among these there w^ere 

10 some who augmented the. real terrors by others imagi- 
nary or wilfully invented. I remember some who de- 
clared that one part of Misenum had fallen, that another 
was on fire ; it was false, but they found people to be- 
lieve them. It now grew rather lighter, which we 

15 imagined to be rather the forerunner of an approach- 
ing burst of flames (as in truth it was) than the return 
of day : however, the fire fell at a distance from us : 
then again we were immersed in thick darkness, and a 
heavy shower of ashes rained upon us, which we were 

20 obliged every now and then to stand up to shake off, 
otherwise we should have been crushed and buried in 
the heap. I might boast that, during all this scene 
of horror, not a sigh, or expression of fear, escaped 
me, had not my support been grounded in that miser- 

25 able, though mighty, consolation, that all mankind were 
involved in the same calamity, and that I was perish- 
ing with the world itself. At last this dreadful darkness 
was dissipated by degrees, like a cloud or smoke; the 



COLLECTION OF LETTERS 317 

real day returned, and even the sun shone out, though 
with a lurid light, like when an eclipse is coming on. 
Every object that presented itself to our eyes (which 
were extremely weakened) seemed changed, being 
covered deep with ashes as if with snow. We returned 5 
to Misenum, where we refreshed ourselves as well as we 
could, and passed an anxious night between hope and 
fear ; though, indeed, with a much larger share of the 
latter : for the earthquake still continued, while many 
frenzied persons ran up and down heightening their 10 
own and their friends ' calamities by terrible predictions. 
However, my mother and I, notwithstanding the danger 
we had passed, and that still threatened us, had no 
thoughts of leaving the place, till we could receive some 
news of my uncle. 15 

And now, you will read this narrative without any 
view of inserting it in your history, of which it is not 
in the least worthy ; and indeed you must put it down 
to your own request if it should appear not worth even 
the trouble of a letter. Farewell. 20 



(134) Pliny to Fuse us 

You want to know how I portion out my day, in 
my summer villa at Tuscum? I get up just when I 
please; generally about sunrise, often earlier, but sel- 
dom later than this. I keep the shutters closed, as 
darkness and silence wonderfully promote meditation. 2; 



318 COLLECTION OF LETTERS 

Thus free and abstracted from those outward objects 
which dissipate attention, I am left to my own thoughts ; 
nor suffer my mind to wander with my eyes, but keep 
my eyes in subjection to my mind, wilich, when they 
5 are not distracted by a multiplicity of external objects, 
see nothing but what the imagination represents to 
them. If I have any w r ork in hand, this is the time I 
choose for thinking it out, word for word, even to the 
minutest accuracy of expression. In this way I com- 

io pose more or less, according as the subject is more or 
less difficult, and I find myself able to retain it. I then 
call my secretary, and, opening the shutters, dictate 
to him what I have put into shape, after which I dis- 
miss him, then call him in again, and again dismiss 

15 him. About ten or eleven o'clock (for I do not observe 
one fixed hour), according to the weather, I either walk 
upon my terrace or in the covered portico, and there I 
continue to meditate or dictate what remains upon the 
subject in which I am engaged. This completed, I get 

20 into my chariot, where I employ myself as before, 
when I was walking, or in my study; and find this 
change of scene refreshes and keeps up my attention. 
On my return home, I take a little nap, then a walk, 
and after that, repeat out loud and distinctly some 

25 Greek or Latin speech, not so much for the sake of 
strengthening my voice as my digestion; though in- 
deed the voice at the same time is strengthened by this 
practice. I then take another walk, am anointed, do 



COLLECTION OF LETTERS 319 

my exercises, and go into the bath. At supper, if I have 
only my wife or a few friends with me, some author is 
read to us ; and after supper we are entertained either 
with music or an interlude. When that is finished, I 
take my walk with my family, among whom I am not 5 
without some scholars. Thus we pass our evenings in 
varied conversation; and the day, even when at the 
longest, steals imperceptibly away. Upon some oc- 
casions I change the order in certain of the articles 
above-mentioned. For instance, if I have studied 10 
longer or walked more than usual, after my second 
sleep, and reading a speech or two aloud, instead of 
using my chariot I get on horseback ; by which means I 
insure as much exercise and lose less time. The visits 
of my friends from the neighboring villages claim some 15 
part of the day; and sometimes, by an agreeable in- 
terruption, they come in very seasonably to relieve me 
when I am feeling tired. I now and then amuse myself 
with hunting, but always take my tablets into the 
field, that, if I should meet with no game, I may at 20 
least bring home something. Part of my time too 
(though not so much as they desire) is alloted to my 
tenants ; whose rustic complaints, along with these city 
occupations, make my literary studies still more de- 
lightful to me. Farewell. 25 



320 COLLECTION OF LETTERS 

(135) Cicero to Cains Cassius 

Believe me, my Cassius, the republic is the perpetual 
subject of my meditations ; or to express the same thing 
in other words, you and Marcus Brutus are never out 
of my thoughts. It is upon you two, indeed, together 
5 with Decimus Brutus, that all our hopes depend. 
Mine are somewhat raised by the glorious conduct of 
Dolabella, in suppressing the late insurrection : which 
spread so wide, and gathered every day such additional 
strength, that it seemed to threaten destruction to the 

io whole city. But this mob is now so totally quelled, that 
I think we have nothing farther to fear from any future 
attempt of the same kind. Many other fears, however, 
and very considerable ones too, still remain with us : 
and it entirely rests upon you, in conjunction with your 

15 illustrious associates, to remove them. Yet where to 
advise you to begin for that purpose, I must acknowl- 
edge myself at a loss. To say truth, it is the tyrant 
alone, and not the tyranny, from which we seem to be 
delivered : for although the man indeed is destroyed, we 

20 still servilely maintain all his despotic ordinances. We 
do more : and under the pretence of carrying his de- 
signs into execution, we approve of measures which 
even he himself would never have pursued. And the 
misfortune is, that I know not where this extravagance 

25 will end. When I reflect on the laws that are enacted, 
on the immunities that are granted, on the immense 



COLLECTION OF LETTERS 321 

largesses that are distributed, on the exiles that are re- 
called, and on the fictitious decrees that are published, 
the only effect that seems to have been produced by 
Csesar's death is, that it has extinguished the sense 
of our servitude, and the abhorrence of that detestable 5 
usurper : as all the disorders into which he threw the 
republic still continue. These are the evils, therefore, 
which it is incumbent upon you and your patriot coad- 
jutors to redress : for let not my friends imagine, that 
they have yet completed their work. The obligations, 10 
it is true, which the republic has already received 
from you, are far greater than I could have ventured 
to hope : still however her demands are not entirely 
satisfied; and she promises herself yet higher services 
from such brave and generous benefactors. You have 15 
revenged her injuries, by the death of her oppressor : 
but you have done nothing more. For tell me, what has 
she yet recovered of her former dignity and lustre? 
Does she not obey the will of that tyrant now he is' dead, 
whom she could not endure when living ? And do we 20 
not, instead of repealing his public laws, authenticate 
even his private memorandums ? You will tell me, per- 
haps, (and you may tell me with truth), that I con- 
curred in passing a decree for that purpose. It was in 
compliance, however, with public circumstances : a 25 
regard to which is of much consequence in political 
deliberations of every kind. But there are some, 
however, who h;ivr most immoderately and ungrate- 

Y 



322 COLLECTION OF LETTERS 

fully abused the concessions we found it thus necessary 
to make. 

I hope very speedily to discuss this and many other 
points with you in person. In the meantime be 
s persuaded, that the affection I have ever borne to my 
country, as well as my particular friendship to yourself, 
renders the advancement of your credit and esteem with 
the public extremely my concern. Farewell. 

(136) Stephen, Count of Blois and Chartres, to His 
Wife, Adele. Before Antioch, March 29, 1098 

Count Stephen to Adele, his sweetest and most 

io amiable wife, to his dear children, and to all his vassals 
of all ranks — his greeting and blessing. 

You may be very sure, dearest, that the messenger 
whom I sent to give you pleasure, left me before 
Antioch safe and unharmed, and through God's grace 

15 in the, greatest prosperity. And already at that time, 
together with all the chosen army of Christ, endowed 
with great valor by Him, we had been continuously 
advancing for twenty-three weeks toward the home of 
our Lord Jesus. You may know for certain, my be- 

20 loved, that of gold, silver and many other kind of riches 
I now have twice as much as your love had assigned to 
me when I left you. For all our princes with the com- 
mon consent of the whole army, against my own wishes, 
have made me up to the present time the leader, chief 

25 and director of their whole expedition. 



COLLECTION OF LETTERS 323 

You have certainly heard that after the capture of 
the city of Nicsea° we fought a great battle with the 
perfidious Turks and by God's aid conquered them. 
Next we conquered for the Lord all Romania and 
afterwards Cappadocia. And we learned that there was 5 
a certain Turkish prince, Assam, dwelling in Cappa- 
docia; thither we directed our course. All his castles 
we conquered by force and compelled him to flee 
to a certain very strong castle situated on a high rock. 
We also gave the land of that Assam to one of our chiefs, 10 
and in order that he might conquer the above-mentioned 
Assam, we left there with him many soldiers of Christ. 
Thence, continually following the wicked Turks, we 
drove them through the midst of Armenia, as far as 
the great river Euphrates. Having left all their 15 
baggage and beasts of burden on the bank, they fled 
across the river into Arabia. 

The bolder of the Turkish soldiers, indeed, entering 
Syria, hastened by forced marches night and day, in 
order to be able to enter the royal city of Antioch before 20 
our approach. The whole army of God, learning this, 
gave due praise and thanks to the omnipotent Lord. 
Hastening with great joy to the aforesaid chief city of 
Antioch, we besieged it and very often had many con- 
flicts there with the Turks ; and seven times with the 25 
citizens of Antioch and with the innumerable troops 
coming to its aid, whom we rushed to meet, we fought 
with the fiercest courage, under the leadership of 



324 COLLECTION OF LETTERS 

Christ. And in all these seven battles, by the aid of 
the Lord God, we conquered and most assuredly killed 
an innumerable host of them. In those battles, in- 
deed, and in very many attacks made upon the city, 
5 many of our brethren and followers were killed and 
their souls were borne to the joys of paradise. . . . 

These which I write to you, are only a few things, 
dearest, of the many which we have done, and because 
I am not able to tell you, dearest, what is in my mind, I 
10 charge you to do right, to carefully watch over your 
land, to do your duty as you ought to your children 
and your vassals. You will certainly see me just as 
soon as I can possibly return to you. 

Farewell. 

(137) Margaret Paston to Her Husband, John Paston 

15 Ryth worchipful hosbon, I recomande me to yow, 
desyryng hertely to her of yowr wilfar, thanckyng God 
of yowr a mendyng of the grete dysese that ye have 
hade; and I thancke yow for the letter that ye sent 
me, for be my trowthe my moder and I wer nowth in 

20 hertys es fro the tyme that we woste of yowr sekenesse, 
tyl we woste verly of your a mendyng. My moder be 
hestyd a nodyr ymmage of wax of the weyette of yow to 
oyer Lady of Walsyngham, and sche sent iiij. nobelys 
to the iiij. Orderys of Frerys at Xorweche to pray for 

25 yow, and I have be hestyd to gon on pylgreymmays 



COLLECTION OF LETTERS 325 

to Walsingham, and to Sent Levenardys for vow ; 
be inv trowth I had never so hew a sesvn as I had from 
the tvme that I woste of vowr sekenesse tvl I woste of 
yowr a mendyng, and zyth myn hert is in no grete esse, 
ne nowth xal be, tyl I wott that ze ben very hal. Your 
fader and myn was dysday sevenyth (this day se'nnight) 
at Bekelys for a matyr of the Pryor of Bormholme, 
and he lay at Gerlyston that nyth, and was ther tyl 
it was ix. of the cloke, and the toder day. 



My fader Garneyss senttee me a worde that he xulde 10 
ben her the nexch weke, and my emme (uncle) also, and 
pleyn hem her with herr hawkys, and thei xulde have 
me home with hem ; and so God help me, I xal exscu- 
my of myn goyng dedyr yf I may, for I sopose that I xal 
redely er have tydyngys from you herr dan I xulde have 
ther. ... I pray vow hertely that (ye) wol wochesaf 
to sende me a letter as hastelv as ze mav, vf wrvhvn 
be non dysesse to vow, and that ve wollen wochesaf to 
sende me worde quow v e your sor dott. Yf I mythe 
have had my wylle, I xulde a seyne vow er dystyme ; 20 
I wolde ye wern at horn, yf it wer your ese, and 
your sor myth ben as wyl lokyth to her as it tys ther 
ze ben, now lever dan a goune zow (though) it wer of 
scarlette. I pray vow yf your sor be hoi, and so that ze 
may indur to ryde, wan my fader com to London, that 25 
ze wol askyn leve, and com home wan the hors xul 



326 COLLECTION OF LETTERS 

be sentte hom a zeyn, for I hope ze xulde be kepte as 
tenderly herr as ze ben at London. I may non leyser 
have to do wrytyn half a quarter so meche as I xulde 
sey (say) to yow yf I myth speke with yow. I xall 
5 sende yow a nothyr letter as hastely as I may. I 
thanke yow that ze wolde wochesaffe to remember my 
gyrdyl, and that ze wolde wryte to me at the tyme, 
for I sopose that wrytyng was non esse to yow. All 
myth God have yow in his kepyn, and sende yow helth. 
10 Wretyn at Oxenede, in ryth grete hast, on Sent Mikyllys 
Evyn. 

Yorys, 

M. Paston. 

My modyr grette yow wel, and sendyth yow Goddys 

15 blyssyng and hers ; and sche prayeth yow, and I pray 

yow also, that ye be wel dyetyd of mete and drynke, for 

that is the grettest helpe that ye may have now to your 

helthe ward. Your sone faryth wel, blyssyd be God. 

(138) Margaret Winthrop to Her Husband 

Dear in My Thoughts, — I blush to think how 
20 much I have neglected the opportunity of presenting 
my love to you. Sad thoughts possess my spirits, and 
I cannot repulse them ; which makes me unfit for any 
thing, wondering what the Lord means by all these 
troubles among us. Sure I am, that all shall work to 
25 the best to them that love God, or rather are loved of 



COLLECTION OF LETTERS 327 

him. I know he will bring light out of obscurity, 
and make his righteousness shine forth as clear as the 
the noon day. Yet I find in myself an adverse spirit, 
and a trembling heart, not so willing to submit to the 
will of God as I desire. There is a time to plant, and a 5 
time to pull up that which is planted, which I could 
desire might not be yet. But the Lord knoweth what is 
best, and his will be done. But I will write no more. 
Hoping to see thee to-morrow, my best affections being 
commended to yourself, (and) the rest of our friends 10 
at Newton, I commit thee to God. 

Your loving wife, 

Margaret Winthrop. 
Sad Boston, 1637. 

(139) Dorothy Osborne to Sir William Temple 

Sir, — That you may be sure it was a dream that 1 15 
writ that part of my letter in, I do not now remember 
what it was I writ, but seems it was very kind, and 
possibly you owe the discovery on't to my being asleep. 
But I do not repent it, for I should not love you if I did 
not think you discreet enough to be trusted with the 20 
knowledge of all my kindness. Therefore 'tis not that 
I desire to hide it from you, but that I do not love to tell 
it ; and perhaps if you could read my heart, I should 
make less scruple of your seeing on't there than in my 
letters. 2 S 



328 COLLECTION OF LETTERS 

I can easily guess who the pretty young lady is, for 
there are but two in England of that fortune, and they 
are sisters, but I am to seek who the gallant should be. 
If it be no secret, you may tell me. However, I shall 
5 wish him all good success if he be your friend, as I 
suppose he is by his confidence in you. If it be neither 
of the Spencers, I wish it were ; I have not seen two 
young men that looked as if they deserved better 
fortunes so much as those brothers. 

io But, bless me, what will become of us all now ? Is 
not this a strange turn ? ° What does my Lord Lisle ? ° 
Sure this will at least defer your journey? Tell me 
what I must think on't ; whether it be better or worse, 
or whether you are at all concern'd in't? For if you 

15 are not I am not, only if I had been so wise as to have 
taken hold of the offer was made me by Henry Crom- 
well, I might have been in a fair way of preferment, 
for, sure, they will be greater now than ever. Is it 
true that Algernon Sydney was so unwilling to leave 

20 the House, that the General was fain to take the pains 
to turn him out himself? Well, 'tis a pleasant world 
this. If Mr. Pim° were alive again, I wonder what he 
would think of these proceedings, and whether this 
would appear so great a breach of the Privilege of 

25 Parliament as the demanding of the 5 members ° ? 
But I shall talk treason by and by if I do not look to 
myself. 'Tis safer talking of the orange-flower water 
you sent me. The carrier has given me a great charge 



COLLECTION OF LETTERS o2 ( J 

to tell you that it came safe, and that I must do him 
right. As you say, 'tis not the best I have seen, nor the 
worst. 

I shall expect your Diary next week, though this will 
be but a short letter : you may allow me to make ex- 5 
cuses too sometimes ; but, seriously, my father is now 
so continuously ill, that I have hardly time for anything. 
"Tis but an ague that he has, but yet I am much afraid 
that is more than his age and weakness will be able 
to bear ; he keeps his bed, and never rises but to have it 10 
made, and most times faints with that. You ought in 
charity to write as much as you can, for, in earnest, my 
life here since my father's sickness is so sad that, to 
another humour than mine, it would be unsupportable ; 
but I have been so used to misfortunes, that I cannot 15 
be much surprised with them, though perhaps I am 
as sensible of them as another. I'll leave you, for I 
find these thoughts begin to put me in ill humour ; 
farewell, may you be ever happy. If I am so at all, 
it is in being 20 

Your 

(140) Dorothy Osborne to Sir William Temple 

Sir, — I have been reckoning up how many faults 
you lay to my charge in your last letter, and I find I 
am severe, unjust, unmerciful, and unkind. Oh me, 
how should one do to mend all these ! 'Tis work for 25 
an age, and 'tis to be feared I shall be so old before I am 



330 COLLECTION OF LETTERS 

good, that 'twill not be considerable to anybody but 
myself whether I am so or not. . . . 

You ask me how I pass my time here. I can give 
you a perfect account not only of w T hat I do for the pres- 
5 ent, but of what I am likely to do this seven years if I 
stay here so long. I rise in the morning reasonably 
early, and before I am ready I go round the house till 
I am w r eary of that, and then into the garden till it 
grows too hot for me. About ten o'clock I think of 

10 making me ready, and when that's done I go into my 
father's chamber, from whence to dinner, where my 
cousin Molle and I sit in great state in a room, and at 
a table that w^ould hold a great many more. After 
dinner w T e sit and talk till Mr. B. comes in question, and 

15 then I am gone. The heat of the day is spent in read- 
ing or working, and about six or seven o'clock I walk 
out into a common that lies hard by the house, where a 
great many young wenches keep sheep and cows, and 
sit in the shade singing of ballads. I go to them and 

20 compare their voices and beauties to some ancient 
shepherdesses that I have read of, and find a vast 
difference there; but, trust me, I think these are as 
innocent as those could be. I talk to them, and find 
they want nothing to make them the happiest people 

25 in the world but the knowledge that they are so. Most 
commonly, when w T e are in the midst of our discourse, 
one looks about her, and spies her cows going into the 
corn, and then away they all run as if they had wings at 



COLLECTION OF LETTERS 331 

their heels. I, that am not so nimble, stay behind ; and 
when I see them driving home their cattle, I think 
'tis time for me to return too. When I have supped, I 
go into the garden, and so to the side of a small river 
that runs by it, when I sit down and wish you were with 5 
me (you had best say this is not kind neither). In 
earnest, 'tis a pleasant place, and would be much 
more so to me if I had your company. I sit there 
sometimes till I am lost with thinking; and were 
it not for some cruel \ thoughts of the crossness of 10 
our fortunes that will not let me sleep there, I should 
forget that there w T ere such a thing to be done as going 
to bed. 

Since I writ this my company is increased by two, my 
brother Harry and a fair niece, the eldest of my brother 15 
Peyton's children. She is so much a woman that I 
am almost ashamed to say I am her aunt ; and so pretty, 
that, if I had any design to gain of servants, I should 
not like her company ; but I have none, and therefore 
shall endeavour to keep her here as long as I can per- 20 
suade her father to spare her, for she will easily consent 
to it, having so much of my humour (though it be the 
worst thing in her) as to like a melancholy place and 
little company. 

You are enough in my heart to know all my thoughts, 25 
and if so, you know better than I can tell you how much 
I am 

Yours. 



332 COLLECTION OF LETTERS 



(141) Richard Steele to Pr- 



ice 



c 



Dear Prtje, — I desire of you to gett the Coach 
and yrself ready as soon as you can conveniently and 
call for me here from whence we will go and spend some 
time together in the fresh Air in free Conference. Let 
5 my best Periwigg be put in the Coach-Box, and my new 
Shoes, for 'tis a Comfort to (be) well dress'd in agreeable 
Company. You Are Vitall Life to Y r Oblig'd 
Affectionate Husband & Humble ser nt 

Rich d Steele. 

(142) Richard Steele to "Madam" 

io Aug st 12th, 1708. 

Madam, — I have your letter wherein you let me 

know that the little dispute we have had is far from 

being a Trouble to you, neverthelesse I assure you, 

any disturbance between us is the greatest affliction to 

15 me imaginable. You talk of the Judgment of the World. 
I shall never Govern my Actions by y t , but by the rules 
of morality and Right reason. I Love you better than 
the light of my Eyes, or the life blood in my Heart 
but when I have lett you know that you are also to 

20 understand that neither my sight shall be so far in- 
chanted, or my affection so much master of me as to 
make me forgett our common Interest. To attend my 
businesse as I ought and improve my fortune it is 



COLLECTION OF LETTERS 333 

necessary that my time and my Will should be under no 
direction but my own. Pray give my most Humble 
Service to M rs Binns.° I Write all this rather to ex- 
plain my own thoughts to you than answer your letter 
distinctly. I enclose it to you that upon second s 
thoughts you may see the disrespectfull manner in 
which you treat 

Y r Affectionate Faithfull Husband : 

R: Steele. 

(143) Richard Steele to Prue 

Aug st 28, 1708. io 

Dear Prue, — The Afternoon Coach shall bring 
you ten pounds. Your letter shows you are pas- 
sionately in Love with me. But We must take our 
portion of life as it runs without repining and I consider 
that Good nature added to that Beautifull form God 15 
has giv'n you would make an happinesse too great for 
Humane life. 

Y r Most Oblig'd Husband & Most Humble Ser v 

Rich d Steele. 

(144) Richard Steele to Prue 

Sept r 13th 1708. 20 

Dear Prue, — I write to you in Obedience to what 
you Ordered me, but there are not words to Expresse 



334 COLLECTION OF LETTERS 

the Tendernesse I have for you. Love is too harsh a 
Word for it, but if you knew how my Heart akes when 
you Speake an Unkind word to me, and springs with 
Joy when you smile upon me, I am sure you would 

5 place your Glory rather in preserving my happinesse 
like a good Wife, than tormenting me like a Peevish 
Beauty. Good Prue, write me word you shall be over- 
joyed at my return to you, and Pity the Awkward 
figure I make when I pretend to resist you by Complying 

10 always with the reasonable demands of y r Enamour'd 
Husband. 

Rich d Steele. 
I am Mrs. Binn's servant. 



NOTES 

1:1. Brook Farm. This letter is an interesting record 
of life at the socialistic colony of Brook Farm. It is amus- 
ing to think of the author of " The Tanglewood Tales " 
and " The Marble Faun " engaged in the occupations 
herein listed. 

1 : 9. Mr. Ripley. Leader of the Brook Farm experi- 
ment. Mr. Ripley was a Unitarian minister of Boston, 
who gave up preaching for the study of philosophy. 
Later he was literary critic on the Tribune. 

2 : 13. Transcendental. The group of New England 
philosophers of whom Bronson Alcott, the father of Louisa 
Alcott, was one, pursued a line of thought often called 
" transcendental philosophy. " 

4:7. Micawber and Skimpole. Two gentlemen of 
Dickens's invention, neither of them noted for prudence 
in finance nor for an abundance of ready money. See 
" David Copperfield " and " Bleak House." 

6 : 2. The Arno. Florence is on the Arno River. 

6 : 12. Present crisis. The Italian struggle for inde- 
pendence against Austria. 

6 : 21. Scagliola. A kind of stucco. 

7 : 13. The Pitti. The Pitti palace, with its galleries of 
wonderful pictures and its beautiful gardens running up 
the slope of a hill overlooking Florence. 

7 : 15. Flush. Mrs. Browning's favorite dog. See note 
to 114 : 27. 

335 



336 NOTES 

7 : 22. San Felice. Holy Happiness. 

7 : 28. Forty Thieves. See " The Arabian Nights." 
8:11. Ba. The little name by which her friends knew 

Mrs. Browning. 

8 : Heading. Mrs. Aitken. Mr. Carlyle's sister, Jean. 
8 : 22. Pass over my head. In prayer-meeting this 

man had thanked the Lord " for the blessings made to 
pass over my head." Notice in this letter the many 
little family quotations that passed current among the 
Carlyles, quotations that meant much to them from 
association. 

10 : 3. Craigenputtock. The barren little Scotch farm 
on which the Carlyles lived before they came to London. 

10 : 5. Burning of . . . manuscript. See Carlyle's 
letter to his brother, page 91. 

12 : 28. Mrs. Hunt. The family of the poet, Leigh 
Hunt, lived near the Carlyles at Chelsea. 

13 : 8. Cheyne Row. The Carlyles established them- 
selves at 5 Cheyne Row, Chelsea — a section of London — 
in 1834. 

13 : 13. Puttock. Craigenputtock. 

14 : 21. Mill. His friend, John Stuart Mill, philosopher 
and political economist. See note to 91 : 1. 

14: 24. Former Book. " Sartor Resartus." 

15 : 6. American Friend. Ralph Waldo Emerson, who 
visited Carlyle at Craigenputtock. 

16:11. Hunt. Leigh Hunt. Poet and friend of Keats, 
etc. He could never make an adequate living. 

16 : 14. Kitchen. Condiment. 

17 : 7. Jenny. His sister. 

17 : 24. Lucy. His daughter. 

17 : 25. Flu. Mrs. Arnold. Her name was Frances 
Lucy. Flu seems to be a combination. 

18 : 14. Dicky. Matthew Arnold's son. 



NOTES 337 

18:21. Fan. His sister, living with his mother at 
Fox How. Miss Pratt's book. " Wild-flowers/' by Annie 
Pratt. 

20 : 4. Skiddaw and Helvellyn. Mountains in the 
" Lake Country." Borrowdale. A beautiful valley, open- 
ing at the foot of Derwent Lake, in the " Lake Country." 

20 : 5. Sesquipedalia. Often humorously applied to 
long words, from Horace's Sesquipedalia verba (words a 
foot and a half long). 

20 : 6. Old Molly. Some humble friend at Grasmere. 

20:7. " That last infirmity of noble minds." Lamb 
knew his Milton. See " Lyeidas," for this facetiously 
applied quotation, line 71. 

20: 10. Mrs. Clarkson. A "Lake Country " friend. 

21 : 11. " Friendly Traitress." See Lamb's poem, k ' A 
Farewell to Tobacco." Evidently a copy of the poem 
was sent with this letter. 

21 : 28. Wither. George, English poet, 1588-1667. 

21 : 28. Southey. The poet, friend of Wordsworth and 
of Coleridge. 

22 : 3. Malta. Island in the Mediterranean. Coler- 
idge was secretary to the governor of Malta, 1804-1805. 

22 : 7. Dear Robert. The Lloyds, friends of Lamb and 
of Coleridge, lived at Birmingham. Poems of Charles 
Lloyd were published with those of Lamb and Coleridge 
in the volume printed in 1797. 

22 : 19. Lapsus styli. Slip of the pen. 

22 : 25. Ulswater and Windermere. Lakes of the 
north England " Lake Country," famous as the home 
of Wordsworth. 

23 : 19. Churlish Orpheus. After the death of Eury- 
dice, Orpheus would not heed the nymphs who strove to 
beguile him. In anger, they tore him to pieces. See 
myth of Orpheus. 
z 



338 NOTES 

24 : 17. Old age. Carlyle's father at this time was 
sixty-five. 

25 : 3. Ecclef echan. The nearest town. 

26 : 9. A forest all my own. Gray was a lover of 
nature at a time when fashionable poets scorned her 
unless she was " to advantage dressed." 

27 : 4. Horace. Walpole liked to connect his name 
with that of the Roman poet. 

27:11. Mrs. Kennedy. Irving had been for two 
months with the Kennedys in Washington, whither he had 
gone for the inauguration of his friend, President Pierce. 

27 : 21. The gentle Horseshoe. A name given by 
Irving to Mr. Kennedy, from the title of one of Mr. 
Kennedy's novels, " Horseshoe Robinson/' 

30 : 19. Kelmscott. The home of William Morris, poet, 
novelist, artist, and reformer, where Rossetti also lived 
for several years. At Kelmscott, Morris established his 
workrooms and printing-presses, and here he taught the 
artistic designing and making of furniture, carpets, tapes- 
tries, and other articles of household decoration, by his 
efforts notabl} 7 changing and elevating public taste. 
The books issued at the Kelmscott Press are fine examples 
of printing, illustrating, and binding. 

30 : 23. Maria. Rossetti's sister. 

31 : 7. Poor Lizzy. His wife, who died in 1862. 

31 : 15. George. George Hake. The son of Rossetti's 
physician. 

33 : 16. Maurice. Frederick Maurice (1805-1872). A 
noted English clergyman and reformer. He became a 
leader of the " Christian Socialists " and later principal 
of St. Martin's Hall, a workingmen's college. 

34 : 6. Hare. Julius Charles, 1795-1855. An Eng- 
lish clergyman and writer. Most of his works are upon 
religious subjects. 



NOTES 339 

34 : 6. Matt. Arnold. See biographical note. Goldwin 
Smith. 1823. He was an historian of note, born in 
England and educated at Oxford ; for three years he was 
professor of constitutional history in Cornell University 
(Ithaca, N. Y.) and later lived in Canada. 

34 : 12. Hole. Dean of Rochester. 

34 : 16. Bedford Street. The Macmillan publishing- 
house. 

35 : 1, Boston. Louisa Alcott was, at this time, board- 
ing with a Mrs. Reed in Boston. The letter shows how 
she was working her way. November 29. The birth- 
day of both father and daughter. Louisa Alcott was 
twenty-four. 

36 : 2. Modern Plato. Thus she names her father. 
37:1. Parker's parlor. Theodore Parker, a Uni- 
tarian preacher and reformer. See his letter on page 271. 

37 : 2. Phillips, Wendell (1811-1884). Reformer, aboli- 
tionist. Garrison, William Lloyd (1804-1878). Leader 
of the abolitionists. Sanborn, Franklin (1831- ). 
Lecturer and reformer, connected with the Concord 
School of Philosophy. 

37 : 10. Abby. Her sister, Abba May. 

38 : 2. Leave college. Longfellow graduated from Bow- 
doin College, Maine, in 1825, at the age of eighteen. 

38 : 13. Periodical publication. The young man's am- 
bition for a literary career was gratified, but not in exactly 
the way that he had planned. 

40 : 1. Browns. Brown eyes. 

41 : 9. Little Lord Fauntleroy. Helen Keller in her 
" Story of My Life " says that " Little Lord Fauntleroy " 
was the first book that she read by herself with under- 
standing. 

42 : 19. The poem which I enclose. Probably " My 
Sister's Sleep." 



340 NOTES 

43 : 9. Mr. Brown. Ford Madox Brown, a painter of 
unquestioned power. 

43 : 19. Edinburgh. Carlyle, at this time, was study- 
ing law at Edinburgh, supporting himself by giving lessons 
in mathematics and by writing articles for encyclopedias. 

44:2. Hussy. "Huzzy" or "hussy," a contraction of 
"housewife," a receptacle for scissors, needles, etc. 

44 : 18. Alick. His brother, Alexander. 

45 : 7. Mrs. Welsh. This was the beginning of his 
acquaintance with the Welsh family. He married Jane 
Welsh in 1826, 

45 : 9. Ha' bank. Evidently some old Scotchman 
whose name is thus contracted. 

45:11. Mag and Mary. Sisters of eighteen and 
thirteen. 

45 : 14. Jean and Jenny. Sisters of eleven and eight. 
45 : 24. Like your head. Let us hope that it fitted ! 
46 : 27. The box. Necessities, from time to time, were 

sent to young Carlyle, while he was studying and working 
in Edinburgh. When he was going" through the Univer- 
sity of Edinburgh, food was sent him regularly from the 
little home farm, so that he had to pay only for a room. 

53 : 5. Jeypore or Jaipur. A city in the north central 
part of India, not far from Delhi. 

57 : 18. Tintagel. Tennyson was making an " Arthu- 
rian journey." He had written four " Idylls of the King " 
and was intending to write further idylls. 

57: 19. Hallam. Hallam Tennyson, named for Arthur 
Hallam, was eight years old. 

59 : Heading. Gertrude. Little Miss Gertrude Chata- 
way. Mr. Dodgson and little Miss Gertrude met first 
at Sandown, a seaside resort in the Isle of Wight. 

62 : Heading. To Ada. One of Mr. Dodgson's child 
friends, Miss Adelaide Paine. 



NOTES 341 

64 : Heading. Mrs. Follen. Eliza Lee Cabot Follen 
was an earnest abolitionist. She edited The Child's 
Friend, and wrote stories and poems for children. Mrs. 
Stowe's letter was written in 1853. At that time Mrs. 
Stowe was engaged upon her " Key to Uncle Tom's 
Cabin." The friends of emancipation in England had 
sent her an invitation urging her to come to England. 
This visit Mrs. Stowe was looking forward to. In the 
meantime, she had received a letter from Mrs. Follen, 
then in London, asking for information about the author 
of " Uncle Tom's Cabin." 

69 : 5. Underground railroad. A system of passing 
run-away slaves from one friendly abolitionist to another, 
until they were out of the reach of their masters. 

72 : 22. Ignoramuses. The writer had apologized for 
his conceit in writing to Huxley about his observations 
with the microscope, and had called himself an " igno- 
ramus." 

73 : Heading. W. Lattimer. A note says, " A ' work- 
ing-man,' by trade a cork-cutter." 

75 : 16. Phalaris' brazen bull. Phalaris, a tyrant of 
Sicily (570 b.c-549? b.c), sacrificed human beings by 
placing them in a heated brazen bull. 

79 : 7. The infernal noise within doors. Mrs. Carlyle's 
house cleanings and house repairings were truly " earth- 
quaking " experiences. She always sent her husband 
away, and then went into the fray with epic ardor. 

81 : 2. Jeannie. Uncle John Welsh's married daughter. 

85:23. Thanks God. The Italian English of Mrs. 
Carlyle's friend, Mazzini. 

86:1. Moffat House. The home, at that time, of 
Carlyle's brother, John. Moffat House was near to 
Scotsbrig, the home of Carlyle's parents. 

86 : 3. Very absurd. A phrase of John Carlyle's. 



342 NOTES 

86 : 4. Beattock. Railway station, mile from Moffat. 
86 : 6. A John's letter. " Too brief generally." 

(Carlyle's note.) 

87 : 6. Grey-Mare's Tail. Lofty cataract. 
87 : 7. The Doctor. John Carlyle. 

87 : 7. Phosbe. Mrs. John Carlyle. 

87 : 25. Nero. Jane Carlyle's pet dog. 

90 : 22. Annandale. The home of Carlyle's parents. 

90 : 24. Two strokes. Two strokes on the wrapper 
meant " all well." 

91 : 1. Mill. John Stuart Mill, a writer upon philos- 
ophy and political economy. A close friend of the 
Carlyles. 

91 : 2. French Revolution. Carlyle's " French Revolu- 
tion," published in 1837, established his reputation. 

91 : 14. Mrs. Taylor. A friend of Mill's, his critic and 
adviser. 

96 : Heading. Sir Horace Mann. British envoy to 
Florence, then the seat of the court of the Grand Duke 
of Tuscany. The administration of the government was 
in the hands of the Prince of Craon, formerly the tutor of 
the Duke. Mann resided in Florence from 1737 to 178 7, 
the year of his death. A vast correspondence passed 
between him and Walpole, on a scale, Walpole says, " not 
to be paralleled in the history of the postomce." 

96 : 23. Conciliatory Plan. See John Fiske's " The 
American Revolution," Vol. II, pages 3-8. Lord North's 
bill passed the Commons and the Lords, and, on March 11, 
received the King's signature. The Americans would 
have none of it. 

97 : 19. Nemine contradicente. No one opposing. 

98 : 8. Our trident. Ocean power. 

98 : 13. Y sommes nous ? Are we there ? 

98 : 16. Speaker's mace. Symbol of authority. 



NOTES 343 

98 : 24. French news earlier than I can. Said in antic- 
ipation of a rupture between France and England. 

98 : 27. My father's happy reign. Robert Walpole was 
prime minister from 1715 to 1742, with an interval of four 
years, from 1717 to 1721. 

98 : 28. The Rebellion. The Scotch rebellion in favor 
of the Pretender, Charles Edward, 1745-1746, ending 
at Culloden, is probably what Walpole refers to. 

99:1. Another war ensued. Perhaps Walpole means 
the early part of the Seven Years' War, before Pitt took 
the helm, 1756-1757. 

100 : 10. Moralise. Much of this " moralising " might 
have been made in our own time. 

100:11. En pure perte. Uselessly. 

100 : 18. Bavaria. The Emperor and the King of 
Prussia were quarreling over Bavaria. 

100 : 20. Jus gentium. Law of peoples. 

104 : 19. Juch-he, juch-he, juch-heise, heise, he, 
So ging der fiedelbogen. 

This may be translated : 

Huzza-ho, Huzza-ho, huzza-huzza, huzza-ho, 
So went the fiddlebow. 

108 : 10. Miserere. The musical setting of the 51st 
Psalm. The most celebrated is the Miserere of Allegri, 
written about 1625, which forms a part of the Tenebra} 
service sung in Holy Week at the Sistine Chapel in Rome. 

108:11. Sistine Chapel. The famous chapel of the 
Vatican, named for Pope Sixtus, on the ceiling of which 
are Michael Angelo's wonderful frescoes. 

109 : 22. Cimabue (1240-1302). The first great Italian 
painter. He is sometimes called " The Father of Modern 
Painting/' Giotto (1276-1337). The second great name 
in the history of Italian painting. 

110:8. Michael Angelo's Night and Morning. At the 



344 NOTES 

Athenaeum, a museum, in copy, and so within his brother's 
reach. 

110:11. Fiesole. Situated on a hill overlooking 
Florence. 

110 : 13. Campanile. The beautiful bell-tower, de- 
signed by Giotto, standing by the Duomo, or cathedral, 
in the center of Florence. 

Ill : 3. Miss Foley. A sculptor. 

Ill : 10. Sumner. Charles Sumner was a noted 
American statesman, a leading opponent of slavery. 

112 : 2. Mental shock of last March. The death of 
Robert Browning's mother. Mrs. Browning writes to 
her sister-in-law, " Believe that, though I never saw her 
face, I loved that pure and tender spirit (tender to me 
even at this distance), and that she will be dear and 
sacred to me to the end of my own life." 

112 : 5. New Cross. The home of Robert Browning's 
parents. 

112 : 12. Baby. Now four or five months old. • 

112 : 14. Ce que femme veut, Dieu le veut. " What a 
woman wills, God wills " is the whole saying. 

113 : 5. Shelley's house at Lerici. Shelley was drowned 
in the Bay of Spezzia. The thought of this was, no 
doubt, doubly melancholy to Mrs. Browning as it must 
have recalled to her the death of her brother Edward by 
drowning off the seaside town of Torquay, England. 

114 : 27. Flush. Mrs. Browning's much-loved dog. 
See her poem, " To Flush, My Dog." Flush was given 
to Mrs. Browning by Miss Mitford. The affectionate 
little creature was the companion of Elizabeth Barrett's 
darkened sick-room. 

116 : 17. Dearest Alick. Sir Alexander Duff Gordon, 
her husband. 

116 : 25. Sitti Ingleezee. English lady. 



NOTES 345 

117 : 7. Omar. The head servant. 
117 : 15. Frank. General name given in Egypt to 
Europeans. 

117 : 19. . Hekekian Bey. An Armenian friend of Lady 
Duff Gordon's. Bey is a Turkish title of respect, given 
to the wealthy gentry. 

118 : 9. Backsheesh. Gift of money. 
118:24. Mutter. Mother. 

119 : 2. My crew. Lady Duff Gordon writes, " I am 
to be mistress of a captain, a mate, eight men and a 
cabin boy for £25 a month." 

119 : 4. First Cataract. About five hundred miles up 
the Nile from Cairo. 

120 : 8. Sally. Lady Duff Gordon's maid. 

120 : 18. Efreets. Evil spirits. 

120 : 23. Omar. Lady Duff Gordon's servant, who 
stayed with her to the last. 

121 : 3. Muslims. Mohammedans. The greater num- 
ber of the inhabitants of Egypt are Muslims. 

121 : 7. Coptic. The Copts, descendants of the ancient 
Egyptians, are Christian. 

121 : 12. Mithraic. Pertaining to the ancient Persian 
and late Roman god, Mithras. His worship was full of 
magic and occult science, represented by symbols. 

121 : 13. Girgis. Name of the headsman. 

121 : 17. Hareem. Portion of the house in which the 
women are secluded. The word is used also for " lady." 

121 : 20. Talk came to an end. Omar was Lady Duff 
Gordon's interpreter. 

122 : 20. Co-religionnaire. Woman holding the same 
religious beliefs as another person. 

122 : 24. " Sat in the gate." In Biblical times business 
was transacted by the master of the house as he " sat in 
the gate." 



346 NOTES 

123 : 1. Sheykh. A chief ; also a religious leader, a 
learned or devout man. 

123 : 28. Fellaheen. Egyptian peasants, very poor 
and defenseless, often oppressed. 

124:2. Sitt. Lady. 

124 : 12. Dragoman. An interpreter or guide and 
agent for travelers. Philae, or Assouan, near the first 
cataract of the Nile. 

126 : 6. Darweesh, or dervish. A Mohammedan monk. 
126 : 7. Feingemacht. Well-made. Bedaween. An 

Arab of the desert. 

126 : 19. Ramadan. During the ninth month of the 
Mohammedan year, every Moslem is enjoined to keep a 
strict fast from dawn to sunset every day. 

127 : 3. Rifaee. There are many different classes of 
darweeshes (dervishes). The Rifaee darweesh is a " howl- 
ing dervish.' ' 

127:7. Wakeel. Secretary. 

127 : 13. Like Roman augurs. It is said that when two 
Roman augurs met they smiled at each other to think 
how they were fooling the people. 

127:23. Klug. Cunning. 

127:25. Manierlich. Politely. 

128 : 4. Isis and Hathor. Goddesses of Egyptian 
mythology. 

128 : 17. Rainie. Lady Duff Gordon's daughter. 

128 : 20. Je voudrais 6tre leve pour Taller dire. I 
want to have a chance to tell it. 

128 : 25. Maurice. Her son. 

129 : 2. Cela a du bon et du mauvais. These people 
here have their right ways and their wrong ways. 

129 : 6. Hekekian Bey. Lady Duff Gordon's Armenian 
friend at Cairo. 

129 : 8. Faux pas. Mistake. 



NOTES 347 

129 : 10. Abou Maurice. Father of Maurice. 

129:11. Girgeh. Lady Duff Gordon is now on her 
way down the Nile again to Cairo. PhilaB is near the 
First Cataract. Thebes is about a quarter of the way 
down from Phila© to Cairo. Girgeh is nearly halfway 
from Phil© to Cairo. Siout is about a quarter of the 
way from Girgeh to Cairo. 

129 : 15. From Siout. On her way up from Cairo to 
the First Cataract. 

129 : 19. J' en ai pour mon argent. I have my money's 
worth. 

129 : 24. Assouan. Below the island of Philae. 

130 : 5. Pasha. A Turkish title of rank — lord or 
prince. 

130 : 13. Inshallaha. May God grant it ! 

130:18. "The blameless Ethiopians.' , A Homeric 
phrase. 

130 : 19. The temples. The great Egyptian temples 
along the Nile — Abou Simbel, Dendera, Edfou, Abydos, 
etc., are among the most wonderful relics of the past. 

130:27. Claude. Claude Lorrain (1600-1682). A fa- 
mous French landscape painter. His pictures are steeped 
in golden light. 

131: 1. Ganz anders. Wholly different. 

131 : 6. Osiris. The chief divinity of the ancient 
Egyptian mythology. 

131 : 23. Jereed. A wooden javelin, about five feet 
long; also, the game in which the javelin is thrown and 
caught by men on horseback. 

131 : 27. Sheykh. Head of a tribe. 

132 : 13. Du reste. Otherwise. 

132 : 20. Nasranee. Nazarene or Christian. 

133 : 1. Koran. Sacred book of the Mohammedans. 
133 : 5. Sheyk. Lady Duff Gordon spells this word 

variously. Here it means a saint. 



348 NOTES 

133 : 10. St. Simon Stylites. A Christian saint, who 
lived for thirty years on the top of a column, eating only 
such food as people conveyed up to him. 

133 : 27. Fathah. The beginning of the Koran, used 
as a prayer. 

134 : 20. Mecca. The holy city of the Mohammedans, 
in Arabia. Pious pilgrims flock to Mecca. Every 
Moslem is bound to undertake, once in his life, a pil- 
grimage to Mecca. 

135 : 22. Down the river. Lady Duff Gordon had made 
what she calls " a long, dawdling voyage " up the river, 
spending the mid- winter in Nubia. She speaks of " the 
glorious air of Nubia and the high up-country." On her 
return, she caught cold, leaving Siout. She says, " The 
worst of going up the Nile is that one must come down 
again and find horrid fogs, and cold nights with sultry 
days." 

136: 1. Holy Mahmaal. A sort of canopy carried by 
the pilgrims to Mecca. 

136 : 12. Alexandria. Her daughter Janet, Mrs. Ross, 
was living at Alexandria. 

136 : 13. Boulak. The port of Cairo. 

136 : 16. The black slave girl. She wrote to her 
mother: " I have a black slave — a real one. I looked 
at her little ears wondering they had not been bored for 
rings. She fancied I wished them bored (she was sitting 
on the floor close at my side), and in a minute she stood 
up and showed me her ear with a great pin through it. 
'Is it well, lady?' — The creature is eight years old. 
The shock nearly made me faint. What extremities of 
terror had reduced that little mind to such a state." 

136 : 19. Kordofan. A country in Sudan, Africa. 

136 : 23. Sitt. Lady. 

137 : 1. Khartoum. A city at the junction of the 



NOTES 349 

White Nile and the Blue Nile, formerly the capital of 
Egyptian Sudan. 

137:14. " Thousand and One Nights.'' "The Ara- 
bian Nights." 

137 : 23. Khamseen. A steady wind. 

137 : 24. The Cape. Lady Duff Gordon had tried the 
climate of the Cape of Good Hope before going to Egypt. 

138 : 5. Alhamdulillah ! The Lord be praised ! — A 
formula of thanks. 

138 : 8. Sittina Mariam. Lady Mary. 
138 : 9. Seyidna Issa. Lord Jesus. 

138 : 16. Abbassieh. A place near Cairo. 

138 : 20. Luxor. In December, Lady Duff Gordon 
started up the Nile a second time, this time in a river 
steam-boat, a more economical mode of travel than by a 
dahabieh, or private boat. She established herself at 
Luxor, the ancient Thebes, which became her principal 
abiding place for the rest of her life. 

139:1. Karnac. The great temple of Karnac is at 
Thebes. 

139 : 2. Moudir. Governor ; administrative chief. 
139:5. Fellah. Peasant. 

139 : 7. Fellaheen. Plural of fellah. 
139 : 11. Narghile. Eastern tobacco-pipe, in which the 
smoke passes through water. 

139 : 18. Maurice. Her son. 

140 : 3. Bedawee. Arab of the desert. 
140 : 5. Efreet. A spirit. 

142:1. Sheykh-el-Ababdeh. Chief of the Ababdeh 
tribe. 

142 : Heading. Huxley, Tyndall. These are two of the 
greatest English names in the history of science. 

142:21. Johnny Gilpin. See Cowper's ballad of 
" John Gilpin's Ride." 



350 NOTES 

142 : 24. Dahabieh. Nile boat. 

143 : 15. " Always afternoon." See Tennyson's " Lotos 
Eaters." 

144 : 2. Bence Jones. His doctor. 
145:21. M. Mrs. Huxley. 

146:21. " Molto basso nel bocca." "Down in the 
mouth," as we say. 

149 : 17. Charles. The cat. 

149 : 22. Capri. Lovely island, off the Bay of Naples. 

150 : 5. Paestum, etc. Places along the Italian coast, 
south of Naples. 

150:16. Dear Mary. Mrs. Humphry Ward, author 
of " Robert Elsmere," " Marcella," and other well-known 
novels. See Sarah Orne Jewett's letter to Mrs. Whitman, 
p. 211. 

150:25. Florentine picture. Botticelli's " Spring." 

151 : 15. Contadino. Countryman. 

151 : 17. Inamorata. Loved one. 

152 : 8. II Santo Protettore dell' Isola. The holy pro- 
tector of the island. 

152 : 21. Freeman. A noted English historian. 

153 : 14. Short Histories. Green's " Short History of 
the English People," his most popular work. 

153 : 19. S. Zeno. Basilica of S. Zeno, outside the 
ancient city of Verona, " one of the most interesting 
churches in Italy." 

153:20. Duomo. Cathedral. 

154 : 8. Somerleaze. Home of Freeman. 

154 : 10. Poseidon. At PaBstum, on the southwestern 
coast of Italy, is a Greek temple of Poseidon (Neptune), 
one of the noblest and most perfect of Greek temples. 

154 : 14. Hellas. Southern Italy was a Greek colony. 

154 : 16. Hadrian Sea. Adriatic Sea. 

154 : 22. Mahaffy. A student of Greek life and man- 



NOTES 351 

ners. His " Primer of Old Greek Life " presents briefly 
much that is interesting upon this subject. 

154 : 27. " Pericles." There is a beautiful bust of Peri- 
cles in the museum of the Capitol, at Rome. 

155:9. Old Parker. John Henry Parker, an English 
archaeologist (1806-1884). His later years were devoted 
to explorations in Rome. He wrote an " Archaeology of 
Rome." 

155 : 10. Palatine. The Palatine hill, overlooking the 
Forum. 

155:21. Naumachiae. Sea-fights, in the Coliseum. 

156 : 12. Ridiculus mus. Absurd little mouse. The 
term is applied to a thing which, instead of being dignified 
and grand, appears ridiculously insignificant. 

156 : 14. Second wall of Rome. Mr. Parker was in- 
terested in tracing the line of the ancient " second wall " 
that once encircled Rome. 

156 : 15. Saw somewhat. Viewing archaeological re- 
mains usually consists in " seeing somewhat " and " where 
somewhat else ought to have been." 

158 : 5. Trasteverino. Inhabitant of a section of the 
city of Rome. 

158 : 9. Campagna. The stretch of level country 
around Rome. It is well described in the lines that 
follow. 

159 : 3. Murray. Guidebook. 

159 : 12. John Bellini or Carpaccio. Venetian painters 
whose canvases are splendid with stately forms and rich 
coloring. 

159 : 13. Arena Chapel. Famous for a series of frescoes 
by Giotto. 

159 : 17. Val d'Arno. Valley of the Arno. 

159 : 17. Maremma. A swampy region extending along 
a part of the coast of Tuscany. 



352 ' NOTES 

159 : 22. Garibaldi. The soldier hero of the Italian 
wars for freedom. 

160:21. Little Book. Green's " Short Histories," ab- 
breviations of his longer works, proved to be the most 
remunerative work that he accomplished. 

161 : 2. Enfin done me voici a Paris. At last I am here 
in Paris ! 

161 : 14. Mais n'importe, courage, allons! But no 
matter, courage, let us go on ! 

161 : 19. An easy conveyance. The two young men, 
Mr. Walpole and Mr. Gray, were traveling by post- 
chaise, going, " on occasion," Mr. Gray says, " fourscore 
miles a day," usually " about six miles an hour." 

161 : 22. Pate de perdrix. Partridge pie. 

162 : 24. " Pandore." Gray's comments upon the 
French opera and drama of the time are interesting. 

163 : 10. Ovid's Metamorphoses. Poem by the Latin 
poet Ovid, telling classic stories of transformations, 
such as Daphne to a laurel tree, Syrinx to a reed, etc. 

164 : 20, 22. Mrs. Clive ; Wilks. English actors. 

165 : 16. Vallies. Spelling ! 

165 : 18. Horrid. In what sense is the word here used? 

166 : 10. Mr. Mann. Sir Horace Mann was the English 
envoy to the court of the Grand Duke of Tuscany. At 
this time Italy was divided up into dukedoms, kingdoms, 
states of the church, etc. 

168: 1. Wrote. Should we to-day say had wrote? 

168 : 5. A single mother. A biographer says, " He 
seldom mentioned his mother without a sigh." 

168:17. Sierra-Morena. (Sp. brown mountains), moun- 
tains of Spain. Gray gives this name to the mountainous 
part of Yorkshire. 

168 : 27. Pudding sleeve. The sleeve of the black 
gown of a clergyman. 



NOTES 353 

169 : 9. Michaelmas. September 29. Festival in honor 
of St. Michael. 

169 : 21. Keswick. Town in the Lake Country, on 
Derwent Lake. Sou they lived at Keswick. 

170 : 15. Skiddaw. A mountain back of Keswick. 
170 : 27. Lodore. Tumbling cascade, near Derwent- 

water. See Southey's poem, " How the Water Comes 
down at Lodore." 

173 : 11. Rydal Mount. The home of the poet Words- 
worth, near Grasmere, in the Lake Country of England. 
Here Wordsworth died. 

174 : 16. Aunt Charlotte. Rossetti's Aunt Charlotte 
Polidore, his mother's sister, was the only person to 
whom he could look for financial help. Aunt Charlotte 
gave him willing assistance. To Rossetti's credit, it may 
be said that in his prosperity he did not forget those who 
had made it possible for him to study his art. 

174 : 22. Oil-picture. Probably the picture which 
Rossetti named " Found." 

177 : 3. Your answer. Aunt Charlotte promptly sent 
the money. 

177 : 11. Stowey. Coleridge, at this time, was living at 
Nether-Stowey, a little town in the southwestern part of 
England, not far from Bristol. This letter and the next 
show the fervor of Lamb's early friendship for Coleridge, 
his pleasure in the society of the little group of friends that 
centered about Coleridge, his enthusiasm for the scenes 
that were connected with them. 

177 : 15. The young philosopher. Hartley, Coleridge's 
baby son. 

177 : 15. Sara. Coleridge married Sara Fricker, 179(3. 

177 : 20. Richardson. In some way this man must 
have been a hindrance to Lamb's longed-for visit to 
Stowey. 



354 NOTES 

178 : 8. Tom Poole. Coleridge had settled in the little 
country town of Nether-Stowey to be near his friend, 
Thomas Poole. 

178 : 9. Wordsworth and his good sister. William 
Wordsworth and his sister Dorothy, in 1797, settled at 
Allfoxden, in Somersetshire, to be near the Coleridges, 
who were living then at Nether-Stowey. Here the two 
poets prepared " The Lyrical Ballads.' ' 

180 : 2. Manning. Thomas Manning. Mathematical 
tutor at Cambridge, later a traveler and explorer. Some 
one suggests that the very diversity of interests — mathe- 
matics and foreign travel were abhorrent to Lamb — 
attracted the two men to each other. 

182 : 25. Shylock. Tyndall had advanced a sum of 
money to his friend, for the building of a-house. Tyndall, 
" with his usual generosity, not only received interest 
with the greatest reluctance, but would have liked to 
make a gift of the principal. " Two years later the loan 
was paid off with the letter quoted. 

183 : 16. Cock. No wonder that the poor man writes 
cock with a capital C ! A note to this letter says, " The 
request was immediately and politely complied with by 
Mr. Remington." 

185 : Heading. Lady Hesketh. Cowper's favorite cousin. 

185 : 4. Mrs. Unwin. Mary Unwin, for so many years 
Cowper's good angel. See his poem " My Mary." 

185:11. Ouse. The river upon which Olney is situ- 
ated. 

186 : 3. Imprimis. First. 

186 : 6. My hares. Cowper rescued certain hares 
that were being pursued by the hounds, and kept them 
tenderly. 

186 : 7. Puss. One of the hares. 

186 : 22. Told Homer. Cowper was translating the 



NOTES 355 

"Iliad." Lady Hesketh had evidently objected to his giv- 
ing Jupiter a wine cask instead of an urn. 

187 : 7. Pr ester John (Prester, i.e. Presbyter or Priest). 
A fabulous Christian monarch, believed, in the twelfth cen- 
tury, to have made conquests from the Mussulmans, and 
to have established an empire somewhere in China, or, 
according to some accounts, in Africa. Marvelous stories 
were told of the magnificence of his realm. See Alfred 
Noyes's poem, " Forty Singing Seamen." 

187:11. Sir John Mandeville. The reputed writer 
of a fourteenth century book of travels, containing strange 
tales of strange lands. 

187:20. Cambuscan. From the " Squire's * Tale " of 
the " Canterbury Tales." 

188 : 22. Anthropophagi. Man-eaters. Cannibals. 

189 : 16. Brawn. The enthusiasm expressed in this 
letter for brawn — an enthusiasm moving to poetic quota- 
tion and poetic comparison — recalls the " Dissertation 
on Roast Pig." 

190 : 23. David. A coldly classical and somewhat pre- 
tentious French painter of the time of Louis XVI and of 
the Revolution. 

190 : 25. Titian or Correggio. Painters of the great 
period of Italian art, both of them noted for abundant 
beauty, richness of color, and substantial value. 

191 : 25. Archimedes. An ancient mathematician ; so 
Lamb gives his name to his mathematical friend Manning. 

193 : 2. 4 M.P. Evidently means the Huxley house. 

193 : 4. To get a Roman holiday. The Byron lines are : 

" There were his young barbarians all at play, 
. . . he, their sire, 
Butcher'd to make a Roman holiday." 

— " Childe Harold," Canto IV, Stanza cxli. 



356 NOTES 

193 : 12. Durcheinander. Thoroughly mixed. 
194:17. M. Mrs. Huxley. 

197 : Heading. Helen Welsh. Mrs. Carlyle's cousin. 
197 : 5. "If everyone had his deserts." " Hamlet," Act 
II, Sc. 2. 

197 : 13. Pickwick. Charles Dickens. Lytton Bulwer. 
Author of " The Last Days of Pompeii " and many other 
novels, of " Richelieu " and many other dramas. 

198 : 1. Babbie. Helen Welsh's sister, both the daugh- 
ters of Mrs. Carlyle's uncle, John Welsh. 

198: Heading. C. E. Norton. Charles Eliot Norton 
(1827-1909) is widely known as a Dante scholar and an 
authority upon art. Mr. Norton had a wide circle of 
friends, — writers and artists. His correspondents were 
many and interesting. 

198 : 9. Death of Mrs. Browning. Mrs. Browning 
died June 30, 1861. 

199 : 4. Vettura. Carriage. 

200 : 27. Cavour. The great Italian statesman who 
did much to secure the establishment of the kingdom of 
united Italy. He died June, 1861. The Italian struggle 
extended from 1848 to 1861. February 26, 1861, Victor 
Emmanuel was crowned king of Italy. 

201 : 5. Pen (or Pennini). The pet name for Oscar 
Browning, the only child of Robert and Elizabeth Brown- 
ing. . Ba. The familiar name by which Mrs. Browning's 
intimate friends knew her. 

201 : 17. Casa Guidi Windows. The poem in which 
Airs. Browning recounts the Italian struggle for liberty 
against Austrian oppression. 

202:11. Theodore Parker. Unitarian minister and 
ardent abolitionist. See the letter of Louisa Alcott to 
her father, p. 35, and the letter of Theodore Parker, p. 271, 
He died at Florence, 1860. 



NOTES 357 

206:27. Laureatus. Poet laureate. 

207 : 25. Only available poem. " Tithonus " was sent 
to Thackeray for the " Cornhill," February, 1860. 

208 : 3. My Island. Farringford is on the Isle of Wight. 
208 : 10. Remainder biscuit. " Dry as the remainder 

biscuit after a voyage." In the speech of Jaques about 
Touchstone, in ; ' As You Like It," Act II, Sc. 7. 

209:3. Lucretius. Latin poet (95 b.c-50 b.c). He 
left only one work, " De Rerum Natura." 

209 : 15. Ilkley. A watering-place in Yorkshire, on 
the Warfe. 

209 : 16. Lincoln, Peterborough, and Ely. Three beau- 
tiful cathedral towns. 

209:17. Boston (St. Botolph's town). On the 
eastern coast of Lincolnshire, the English town for which 
Boston in Massachusetts is named. 

209 : IS. Newnham. Newnham College, on the out- 
skirts of Cambridge, and Girton College, also near Cam- 
bridge, are the chief English colleges for women. The 
graduates of these two colleges are admitted to examina- 
tions at Cambridge and receive certificates indicating 
their rank in the class lists. 

209 : 20. King's College Chapel. Famed for its beauty. 
See Wordsworth's sonnet, beginning " Tax not the royal 
saint with vain expense." 

210 : 18. Aldworth. Tennyson's home in Surrey, where 
he died, in October of the year in which this letter was 
written, 1892. 

210:28. Find things in it. The "crystal gazers" 
looked intently into crystal spheres to see visions of the 
future, and thus made prophecies. 

211 : 9. Mrs. Humphry Ward. The granddaughter 
of Dr. Arnold of Rugby, thus the niece of Matthew Arnold. 
See J. R. Green's letters to Mrs. Ward. 



358 i NOTES 

212 : 8. Mrs. Arnold . . . changed looks. Matthew Ar- 
nold died 1888. 

212 : 12. Whitby. The interesting town on the north- 
east coast of England, where St. Hilda, as abbess of the 
monastery of Whitby, encouraged CsBdmon, the first 
English poet, to sing his poetic paraphrases of the Scrip- 
tures. Whitby is sometimes called the " cradle of English 
poetry." 

212 : 13. Du Maurier. Artist and novelist. In his 
charming drawings, he portrayed English life and manners 
with delicate humor. His novels show much sympathy 
with human nature, power of portraiture, and artistic 
skill. 

212 : 19. " Lady Rose's Daughter." The novel upon 
which Mrs. Ward was then engaged. 

213 : 3. Frederick. Tennyson's eldest brother, Fitz- 
gerald's particular friend. 

213:6. King Arthur — or part of him. Tennyson was 
then finishing " The Idylls of the King." 

213 : 12. Old Epicurean. This was Fitzgerald's dis- 
covery of " The Rub£iyat of Omar Khayyam." 

214 : 3. Franklin Lushington married Tennyson's 
youngest and favorite sister, Cecilia. Farringford. The 
home of the Tennysons. 

214: 16. "Paltry Poet." Fitzgerald's name for Alfred 
Tennyson. 

216 : 10. Dugald Stewart. Professor of moral philos- 
ophy at the University of Edinburgh. Jeffrey (Francis). 
Lord Jeffrey. Projector and, for twenty-six years, 1802- 
1828, editor of the " The Edinburgh Review." His 
literary criticisms were often severe and sometimes unjust. 
Jeffrey was also a distinguished lawyer. 

216 : 13. Lady Davy. The wife of Sir Humphry Davy, 
an eminent chemist. The lady was noted for her wit and 
accomplishments. 



NOTES 359 

217 : 10. Abbotsford. The famous home of Sir Walter 
Scott, on the Tweed River, near Melrose. 

217:21. Dryburgh Abbey. A beautiful ruined abbey, 
within which Scott was buried. Yarrow. A little Scotch 
river, made famous in ballad and story. See Wordsworth's 
poems, '■ Yarrow Unvisited," " Yarrow Visited." 

218 : 2. Thomas the Rhymer. An old Scotch bard. 
He had the reputation of being a prophet. 

218 : 17. Blackwood. Publisher of the famous Edin- 
burgh magazine called by his name. " Blackwood's Maga- 
zine," "The Edinburgh Review" and the "Quarterly" 
were the most influential periodicals of their times. They 
wielded much power. 

218 : 22. Mackenzie. Scotch writer. 

218 : 22. Wilson, John (" Christopher North "). Writer, 
critic, and poet. " Blackwood's Magazine " derived much 
of its reputation from the brilliant articles that he con- 
tributed to it under the name of " Christopher North." 

218 : 23. Constable. Edinburgh publisher. The failure 
of his publishing house, in 1825, involved Sir Walter 
Scott in the ruin. 

221 : 9. Murray, John. London publisher and patron of 
letters. He projected " The Quarterly Review," which 
shared literary honors with the " Edinburgh Review " and 
" Blackwood's." 

221 : 15. Gifford, William. English critic and author, 
for many years editor of the " Quarterly." 

221 : 16. Campbell, Thomas. British poet. Author of 
" The Pleasures of Hope," " Lochiel's Warning," etc. 
Foscolo, Ugo. An Italian poet, who emigrated to London 
in 1816, later lecturing on Italian literature in London. 

221 : 17. Southey, Robert. English poet. Friend of 
Wordsworth. Milman (Rev. Henry Hart). English poet 
and historian. Belzoni, Giovanni Battista. Traveler 



360 NOTES 

a 

and explorer. He secured several remarkable Egyptian 
antiquities for the British Museum. 

223 : 15. You and Brevoort and Gouv. Kemble. Pierre 
Irving, in his Life of his uncle, says : " Among Mr. Irving's 
associates, at this time, . . . were Peter and Gouverneur 
Kemble, Henry Brevoort, Henry Ogden, and James K. 
Paulding, who, with him and his brother Peter, and a 
few others, made up a circle of intimates designated by 
Peter as * the nine worthies,' though Washington in his 
correspondence more frequently alludes to them as ' the 
lads of Kilkenny.' The favorite meeting place of these 
1 lads ' was the old Gouverneur Kemble house in Newark, 
N.J., situated at what is now the corner of Fourth Avenue 
and Mt. Pleasant Avenue. The place, in Irving's time, 
took in much land about it, running down to the Passaic 
River. Irving calls it, in ' Salmagundi,' Cockloft Hall." 

225 : 11. Mes. Villageoises. Village ladies. 

226 : 12. George Selwyn. A famous London wit and 
beau. 

227 : 17. Mary. It is said that Walpole wished to 
marry Miss Mary Berry. At his death, he left the two 
ladies a substantial legacy. It is pleasant to find the 
sophisticated Mr. Walpole so enthusiastic over these 
amiable ladies. Mary and Agnes Berry remained un- 
married, living to a good old age, and receiving the homage 
of generation after generation of literary folk. 

229:4. In statu jumpante (!). In jumping condition. 

229 : 7. You was. " Educated men once frequently said 
you was instead of you were. . . . During the latter part 
of the seventeenth century the employment of you was 
prevailed to a considerable extent, but by no means to the 
extent it did in the century following. ... It turns up 
constaDtly in the Walpole correspondence which reflects 
the fashionable speech of the day." — T. R. Lounsbtjry. 



NOTES 361 

230 : 4. My poor niece. The Countess of Dysart, who 
was very sick. 

230 : 22. From home. Thus Charles Lamb expresses the 
recurring tragedy of Mary Lamb's mental disorders. 

233 : 5. Dickinson. Probably Anna Dickinson, a lec- 
turer, and advocate of woman suffrage, labor reform, etc. 

233: 11. Every week. Mr. Godkin was the editor of 
" The Nation," a weekly paper. 

234 : 12. Extrumpery. A variation upon extemporary 
to express his slight regard for his verses. 

234 : 15. Ca va sans dire. That goes without saying. 

234 : 19. Omnibus hoc vitium est cantoribus. This is 
the defect of all poets. 

234 : 24. Ramayana. One of the two great epics of 
India. The poem is of great length. 

235 : 26. Miss Foote. Mrs. Godkin's maiden name. 

237 : 3. Invitation into Cumberland. Lamb visited 
Wordsworth's country the next year, 1802, with all the 
enthusiasm that he had visited Nether-Stowey (see 
letters 66 and 67) in 1797. His letter to Mr. Manning, 
page 169, describes his impressions. See also the next 
letter. 

237:11. The Strand and Fleet Street. Two of the 
busiest streets in London, crowded with motley life. 
How characteristic of Lamb is the list that follows of the 
aspects of London and London life that appealed to his 
imagination and his sympathies ! 

237 : 14. Covent Garden. A space in London, between 
the Strand and Longacre, which was originally a convent 
garden of the monks of St. Peter ; hence its name. The 
eighteenth-century wits and men of letters frequented the 
coffee-houses and taverns that were located about Covent 
Garden. The Covent Garden Theatre, in which famous 
actors, such as Garrick, played, and the Covent Garden 



362 NOTES 

Market, a vegetable, fruit, and flower market, were further 
attractions to this place of resort. 

237 : 15. Rattles. Pert wits of the time were called 
rattles. " They call me their agreeable rattle." Is this 
what Lamb's word means? 

237 : 20. Parsons cheapening books. Parsons would 
not be likely to be oversupplied with money, and yet would 
be in need of books, so they would bargain with the book- 
sellers at the stalls, in hope of reducing prices. 

238: 20. My old school. See " Christ's Hospital Five 
and Thirty Years Ago," in Lamb's " Essays of Elia." 

239 : 8. Laughed with dear Joanna. See Wordsworth's 
poem " To Joanna." 

" When I had gazed perhaps two minutes' space, 
Joanna, looking in my eyes, beheld 
That ravishment of mine, and laughed aloud." 

239 : 9. D. Wordsworth's sister, Dorothy. 

240 : 20. The island. Appledore, one of the Isles of 
Shoals, a group of five little rocky islands — Appledore, 
White, Star, etc. — opposite Rye, off the coast of New 
Hampshire. 

241 : 1. Wrapped up in measureless content. These 
words — " Macbeth," Act II, Sc. 1, line 15 — illustrate the 
way that half unconscious quotations slip from the pens 
of people that are readers. Banquo's words are " Shut 
up," not " wrapped up." 

241 : 14. " St. Nicholas." " St. Nicholas," April, 1889. 
Celia Thaxter's poem, " The Heavenly Guest," from the 
Russian of Count Tolstoi, is worth looking up. The story 
itself may be found among Tolstoi's " Moral Tales," 
Vol. 12, of the Colonial Press edition of his translated 
works. 

241 : 24. 1841. Ruskin had not yet taken his degree at 



NOTES 363 

Oxford, but ill health had compelled him to rest and 
travel, in order to check what seemed like a consumptive 
tendency. 

243 : 27. Go up for a pass. Ruskin took his B.A. degree 
in 1842, his M.A. in 1843. The " pass " is taking the 
ordinary course as distinguished from the honor course. 

246 : 19. Riviera. A strip of coast along the Medi- 
terranean, from Nice, in France, to Spezia, in Italy. 

247 : 6. San Remo. A health resort on the Riviera. 

249 : 8. St. Stephen. The first Christian martyr. 

249 : 12. Tarantella. The characteristic dance of the 
southern Italians. 

249 : 13. Tauchnitz. Editions of good novels, well 
printed, in paper covers. 

249 : 15. Dolce far niente. Sweet idleness. 

249 : 28. Buon genti. Good folk. 

250: Heading. The Rev. William Mason. The friend 
and biographer of the poet Gray. 

250 : 25. Strawberry. Walpole's country house, " Straw- 
berry Hill." 

251 : 15. Dean Tucker was expressing his opinions upon 
the situation with America, then acute. 

251 : 16. Sterne. Laurence Sterne was one of the first 
English novelists. 

251 : 18. Lady Luxborough. Letters to William Shen- 
stone, an English poet of small note (1714-1763), author of 
" The Schoolmistress." 

251 : 24. Gray's " Churchyard," — " Elegy Written in a 
Country Churchyard." 

252 : 2. Dodsley. James Dodsley, a London printer 
and publisher. 

252 : Heading. The Countess of Ossory. This lady, 
the divorced Duchess of Grafton, had married, in 1769, 
Walpole's Paris friend, John Fitzpatrick, second Earl of 



364 XOTES 

Upper Ossory. She was one of " the ladies to whom Wal- 
pole addressed sprightly letters in a strain of oddly mingled 
ceremony and familiarity." 

252:24. King of Prussia. Frederick, "The Great" 
(1712-1786), noted for his ability to save himself from 
demoralization in time of defeat. Xenophon. (430 B.C.- 
circa 357 b.c.) Historian, essayist, and general. He led 
the celebrated retreat of the " ten thousand Greeks," after 
the battle of Cunaxa, to the Black Sea, as he recounts in 
his " Anabasis." 

253 : 2. Ghostly father. Spiritual father, father con- 
fessor. 

253:11. Madame de Grignan. The rather cold and 
loveless, though beautiful, daughter of Madame de Sevigne. 
Many of Madame de Sevigne's best letters were written to 
this daughter, to whom she was devoted. 

253 : 13. The painter. Timanthes. 

253 : 23. My godfather. Horace, the Latin poet. 
Walpole seems to take considerable satisfaction in the con- 
nection of names. The quotation is from Liber I, Ode 3. 
Horace's line is " Wings not given to man." 

255 : 13. Aristotle. The great Greek authority upon 
matters of rhetoric. 

255 : 14. Bossu : Rene Le Bossu. Born at Paris, 1631 : 
died in 1680. He published a treatise upon epic poetry. 

255:22. Timothy's soul . . . his own cloak. II 
Timothy iv. 13. 

256:1. Quod scripsi, scripsi. What I have written, 
I have written. 

256 : 6. Delabrement. A falling into decay. 

256 : 9. My collection. Art collection at Strawberry 
Hill, Walpole's country-house. 

256 : 10. Christie's. Well-known London art sales- 
rooms. 



NOTES 365 

257:26. Sheridan. Author of "The Rivals" and 
" The School for Scandal/' 

257 : 27. Mrs. Crewe. A celebrated London beauty : 
The copy of verses is ik The Portrait," presenting " The 
School for Scandal " to Airs. Crewe. 

258:8. N. A. "North American Review." 

258 : 18. Page. Does he mean William Page, a painter, 
best known for his portraits ? 

259 : 6. Time was that when the brains were out the 
man would die. " Macbeth," Act. Ill, Sc. 4. A delight- 
fully applied quotation! Nous avons change tout cela. 
We have changed all that. 

259 : 11. " The Nation." Evidently there had appeared 
in " The Nation " some criticism of Lowell that Mrs. 
Godkin feared would offend the poet. 

260 : 15. Woundily. Excessively. (Colloquial or hu- 
morous.) 

260 : 23. Eminent domain. " The dominion of the 
sovereign power over all the property within the state, by 
which it is entitled to appropriate any part necessary to 
the public good." 

260 : 23. Tabula in naufragio. A plank in a shipwreck. 
261 : Heading. His son, Philip Stanhope. 

267 : 14. Petit ton un peu decide et un peu brusque. 
Manner a bit too decided and peremptory. 

267 : 16. Douceur. Mildness. 

268 : 5. Cette douceur de moeurs et de manieres. That 
gentleness of manners and of bearing. 

269 : 7. Remove. Evidently promotion. 
269 : 22. En avant. Go ahead ! 

270 : 13. Bosh. We can infer what this Rugby slang 
meant. 

270:23. Tout court. Abrupt, 

271 : 17. Dear Young Friend. The w r ords of advice in 



366 NOTES 

this letter, to a young man with whom Mr. Parker had 
fallen into conversation upon a railroad journey, are 
rendered more forcible by the circumstances of Theodore 
Parker's own education. See biographical note. 

273 : 7. Dearest Ally. This letter to Alfred Tennyson 
from his mother speaks volumes concerning the influences 
that surrounded the poet's early years. 

274 : 12. Fox How. The Arnold home, just out of 
Ambleside, in the " Lake Country " of Westmoreland. 

274 : 17. Tyndall. A great English scientist. 

279 : 23. Johnston. John D. Johnston. Lincoln's step- 
mother's son. This letter shows Lincoln's sturdy common 
sense and real kindliness. 

283 : 4. Marmee. Louisa Alcott's old name for her 
mother. Mrs. Alcott died Nov. 25, 1877. 

283 : Heading. Lamb to Coleridge. This plain account, 
tragic in its plainness, of the great calamity of Lamb's 
life speaks eloquently of Lamb's true self. 

284 : 1. The Bluecoat School. The famous Christ's 
Hospital, long in London, now removed to the country, 
where Lamb and Coleridge were school-mates. See 
Lamb's " Christ's Hospital Five and Thirty- Years Ago." 

284 : 12. If you publish. A volume of the poems of 
Coleridge, Lloyd, and Lamb was published in 1797. 

284 : Heading. Mrs. Martin. Mrs. Browning's life- 
long friend. 

285 : 13. That room. Her darkened invalid's room. 

285 : 20. Pneumatological. Pertaining to that branch 
of philosophy that treats of the nature of mind or spirit. 

285 : 22. Broke my heart. The death by drowning of 
her brother Edward, the " brother whom she loved best 
of all." Young Barrett had gone out with two friends in 
a small sailing boat, from the seaside town of Torquay. 
" They did not return when they were expected, and pres- 



NOTES 367 

ently a rumor came that a boat, answering in appearance 
to theirs, had been seen to founder in Babbicome Bay ; 
but it was not until three days later that final confirmation 
of the disaster was obtained by the discovery of the bodies.' ' 

286 : 2. Mr. Kenyon. An old friend and distant 
cousin of Mrs. Browning's. 

288 : 9. Go to Italy. Her father stubbornly refused to 
let her spend the winter in Italy, although her doctor 
advised the change, and Miss Barrett had set her heart 
upon the experiment. 

289 : 22. Wimpole Street. The Barrett home in Lon- 
don was at No. 50 Wimpole Street. 

291 : 5. Mrs. Jameson. Author of " Characteristics 
of Women," — a close friend of Mrs. Browning's. 

292 : 1. Kelmscott. Rossetti writes of Kelmscott, the 
manor-house which he shared with William Morris, " This 
house and its surroundings are the loveliest ' haunt of 
ancient peace ' that can be imagined — the house purely 
Elizabethan in character, though it may probably not be 
so old as that. ... It has a quantity of farm-buildings 
of the thatched squatty order, which look settled down 
into a purring state of content. . . . The garden is a 
perfect paradise, and the whole is built on the very banks 
of the Thames, along which there are beautiful walks for 
miles." 

292 : 12. Christina. Rossetti's sister, a poet of no 
mean power: 

292 : 14. The little Morris girls. Rossetti writes of 
them, " The children are dear little things — perfectly 
natural and intelligent. . . . The younger one — Mary, 
or May as she is called — is most lovely ; the elder interest- 
ing also. I mean to make drawings of both while I remain 
here." See Rossetti's picture "Rosa Triplex." 

293 : 7. Basil. Matthew Arnold's little son. Three of 
Matthew Arnold's bo3 r s died within a short time. 



368 NOTES 

293 : 10. Flu. Mrs. Arnold. 

294:14. December 24. His birthday. 

294 : 19. Papa. Thomas Arnold, who, as head-master 
of Rugby, exercised so strong and fine an influence over 
the boys of his school, and a wider influence for good over 
English boys' schools. He is the head-master described 
in Thomas Hughes' " Tom Brown at Rugby." 

294 : 25. Tommy. Matthew Arnold's eldest son, 
Thomas, died at Harrow, November 23, 1868, aged six- 
teen. He had been an invalid all his life. 

295 : 5. The passage which converted St. Augustine. 
Romans xiii. 13. 

295 : 20. To the end. J. R. Green died at Mentone, 
in the southern part of France, March 7, 1883. Alexander 
Macmillan, who had published his books, was with him 
during the last weeks of his life. Mr. Macmillan wrote 
to Archbishop French, " My wife and I spent the last 
five weeks of dear Green's life at Mentone and were 
seeing him, of course, every day." 

296 : 13. The grand act. Mr. Macmillan must have 
been generous in his business dealings with Mr. Green. 
He wrote to the historian, " Believe me, my dear Green, 
that you are loved, and honoured, and trusted among us 
all in a very high degree, and we count all that you do 
with us and for us among our most precious work." 

297 : 3. Rough a letter. Johnson wrote, " If I interpret 
your letter right, you are ignominiously married ; if it is 
yet undone, let us once more talk together. If you have 
abandoned your children and your religion, God forgive 
your wickedness ; if you have forfeited your fame and 
your country, may your folly do no further mischief ! " 

299 : 9. Sheltering herself in England. Mary Stuart 
fled from her incensed nobles to England, where she threw 
herself upon the protection of Elizabeth. The result of 



NOTES 369 

her rash act was eighteen years of imprisonment, ended 
by her execution at Fotheringay, on a charge of conspiring 
against the life of Elizabeth. 

299 : 23. The Earl of Chesterfield. The story of 
Johnson's application to Chesterfield for encouragement 
at the beginning of his arduous task of preparing his great 
dictionary, of his disappointment, and of the tardy and 
somewhat officious recommendation from the pen of the 
great lord that the work received when the need of help 
was passed, is told by Macaulay in his " Life of Samuel 
Johnson," particularly in paragraphs 18 and 27. 

299 : 25. The World. Macaulay explains : "A journal 
called The World, to which many men of high rank and 
fashion contributed." 

300 : 10. Le vainqueur, etc. The conqueror of the con- 
queror of the world. 

301 : 7. Till I am solitary. The wife that he idealized 
died three years before the completion of his dictionary. 
Macaulay writes : " She was gone ; and in the vast laby- 
rinth of streets, peopled by eight hundred thousand human 
beings, he was alone." 

301 : 23. Sam. Johnson. The best qualities of John- 
son's style appear in this letter, tense with feeling, but 
restrained and dignified. 

301 : Heading. Scotsbrig. The home of Carlyle's parents. 

302 : 9. "All well." Carlyle explains, " Two strokes on 
the newspaper." 

302:21. " God support us all." Words that his mother 
had written as a postscript to the letter from his sister, 
bringing the news of his father's death. 

306 : 25. John of Cockermouth. His father's eldest 
son, Carlyle's half-brother. 

307 : Heading. To Mrs. Bixby. This letter of Lincoln's 
is almost as widely known as his Gettysburg Address. 



370 NOTES 

309 : 1. My letter. A reference to her previous letter 
to her friend Cleone, in Ionia. 

309 : 3. Icarus. Daedalus made for Icarus, his son, 
wings of wax, with which Icarus succeeded in flying. He 
flew, however, too near the sun, his wings melted, and he 
" fluttered and fell from the clouds.'' 

309 : 10. Elaphebolion. The month in which the great 
dramatic festivals of Athens were held, beginning about 
the middle of March. 

309:11. Bacchus. The Greek theater was connected 
with the worship of Bacchus, or Dionysus. 

310 : 20. Champion of the human race. Prometheus. 
The play was the " Prometheus Bound " of iEschylus. 
See Mrs. Browning's translation of this great tragedy. 

311 : Heading. Hispulla. The aunt of the younger 
Pliny's wife, Calpurnia. 

312 : Heading. Cornelius Tacitus. A celebrated Roman 
historian (55-117). 

312 : 24. My uncle. Pliny, " The Elder " (23-79). A 
celebrated Roman naturalist. At the time of the great 
eruption of Vesuvius (79 a.d.) that buried Pompeii, 
Pliny was in command of the Roman fleet at Misenum, at 
the northwestern entrance of the Bay of Naples. His 
curiosity in regard to the showers of ashes that rained, 
apparently, from the sky led him to push the vessel on 
which he was nearer and nearer to Vesuvius. He advanced 
too near, and was strangled by the gas and vapors from 
the burning mountain. 

313 : 1. Misenum. The promontory of Misenum is at 
the northwestern entrance to the Bay of Naples. Near 
by, in classic times, was the city Misenum. 

313 : 3. " Though my shock'd soul," etc., from Vergil. 

315 : 6. Capreae. The modern Capri. 

316 : 8. The final endless night. The Stoic and Epicu- 



NOTES 371 

rean philosophers held that the world was to be destroyed 
by fire, all things, the god included, to pass back into chaos. 

320 : Heading. To Caius Cassius. This letter is inter- 
esting in connection with Shakespeare's " Julius Caesar." 

320 : 23. Never have pursued. After the assassination 
of Caesar, it was agreed that his policies of government 
should be continued and that his measures, then pending, 
should be carried into effect. Cicero, from reasons of 
policy, advocated these measures. Antony took advan- 
tage of them to push through many plans of his own. 

322 : Heading. Count Stephen of Blois and Chartres 
was one of the richest and ablest princes who took part in 
the first crusade. This letter to his wife is considered 
" one of the most important documents for the history of 
the first crusade." 

323 : 2. Nicsea. A town 58 miles southeast of Con- 
stantinople, taken by the Crusaders in 1097. 

323 : 4. Romania. The Crusader gives this name to 
that part of Asia Minor lying between Nicsea and Cappa- 
docia. The route of the Crusaders was southeast to the 
Euphrates River ; then southwest to Antioch in Syria. 
Antioch is on the coast of the Mediterranean, about 275 
miles north of Jerusalem. It is a question whether the 
Countess Adele was much enlightened by the geography 
of this letter. 

Letter 137, Modernized 

Right worshipful husband, I recommend me to you, 
desiring heartily to hear of your welfare, thanking God for 
your amending of the great disease that you have had ; and 
I thank you for the letters that you sent me, for, by my 
troth, my mother and I were not in heart's ease fron* the 
time that we wot [knew] of your sickness till we wot 



372 NOTES 

verily of your mending. My mother vowed another 
image of wax of the weight of you to Our Lady of Wal- 
singham, and she sent four nobles [26 shillings 8 pence] to 
the four orders of friars at Norwich, to pay for you, and I 
have vowed to go on a pilgrimage to Walsingham and to 
St. Leonard's [a priory at Norwich] for you ; by my 
troth, I had never so heavy a season as I had from the time 
that I wot of your sickness till I wot of your amending, 
and yet my heart is in no great ease, nor shall be, till I wot 
that you be entirely well. Your father and mine was this 
day se'nnight at Bekelys on a matter concerning the Prior 
of Bromholms, and he stayed at Gelderstone that night 
and was there till it was nine of the clock on the following 
day. . . . My father Garney [perhaps her godfather] sent 
me word that he should be here the next week, and my 
uncle also, to have sport with their hawks, and they should 
have me home with them ; and so God help ine, I shall 
excuse me of my going thither, if I may, for I suppose that 
I shall readier have tidings from you here than I should 
have there. ... I pray you heartily that you will 
vouchsafe to send me a letter as hastily as you may, if 
writing does not distress you, and that you will vouchsafe 
to send me word how your sore does. If I might have my 
will, I should have seen you before this time ; I would you 
were at home, if it were to your comfort, and your sore 
might be as well looked to here as it is there, now rather 
than a gown though it were of scarlet. I pray you, if 
your sore be well, and if so that you may endure to ride, 
when my father comes to London, that you will ask leave 
and come home when the horse shall be sent home again, 
for I hope you would be cared for as tenderly here as you 
are in London. I have not leisure to write half a quarter 
so much as I should say to you if I might speak to you. I 
shall send you another letter as hastily as I may. I thank 



NOTES 373 

you that you should vouchsafe to remember my girdle, 
and that you should write to me at the time, for I suppose 
that writing was not easy to you. May God have you 
in his keeping, and send you health. Written at Oxenende, 
in right great haste, on Saint Michael's Eve. 

Yours, 

M. Paston. 
My mother greets you well, and sends you God's blessing 
and hers ; and she prays you, and I pray you also, that you 
be well dieted of meat and drink, for that is the greatest 
help now that you may have to your healthward. Your 
son fares well, blessed to God. 

327 : 14. Sad Boston. On account of the religious and 
political dissensions that were stirring the colony. See 
biographical note, — Winthrop. 

328:11. Strange turn. Cromwell's violent measures 
in dissolving the " Long Parliament." See Gardiner's 
" Student's History of England," p. 566. 

328:11. Lord Lisle. A noble friend of Sir William 
Temple's. The two young men were planning a journey 
together. 

328 : 17. Henry Cromwell. The younger son of the 
Lord Protector, and a suitor of Dorothy Osborne's. 

328 : 22. Mr. Pirn. One of the early leaders in the 
struggle ox Parliament against King Charles. 

328 : 25. Demanding of the 5 members. King Charles's 
violation of the privileges of Parliament. See Gardiner's 
" Student's History of England," p. 536. 

330 : 7. Before I am ready. Arrayed, with due care, 
for the day, as convention demanded that a gentlewoman 
should be. 

332 : Heading. Prue. Richard Steele was married to 
Mary Scurlock, reputed to have been a beautiful young 



374 NOTES 

lady, probably on September 9, 1707. After the fashion 
of the times, the lady, before her marriage, was called 
Mrs. Scurlock, only young girls being called " Miss." 
Later, Steele gave his wife the pet name of " Prue." 

Note the curiosities of spelling and of capitalization in 
these letters. 

332 : 12. Little dispute. The course of true love was 
evidently not running entirely smoothly. 

333:3. Mrs. Binns. This friend of Mrs. Steele's 
appears to have been a lady whose good graces Mr. 
Steele was anxious to secure, perhaps because of her in- 
fluence over his wife. 



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